This website is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning about the history and current issues facing the water and energy sectors in Southern California and the West. The goal of the website is to provide objective information on these topics while also preserving the regional history of water and electricity and disseminating knowledge of the multicultural history of the greater Los Angeles area.

One of the unique features of the Water and Power Associates is that it is an independent, membership-funded corporation. This means that the organization is able to provide the public with critical information on water and electric issues without constraints. As a result, the members of the organization are frequently sought out by local and state officials, historians, authors, filmmakers, and others as an informed, reliable resource.

In addition to newsletters that cover current pressing issues in Los Angeles and Southern California, our digital online museum showcases early photographs of Los Angeles and surrounding area, including its transportation system, buildings, and way of life, and holds immense importance in preserving and celebrating our cultural heritage. Such a repository offers historical insights, fosters cultural appreciation and identity, facilitates research and education, and ensures the preservation of urban heritage for future generations.

The best way to see what we’re up to is to visit our Newsletter Section or click on the link below to see our most current Quarterly Newsletter.

 
   

Latest Newsletter

 
   

Below is a link to the April 2024 on-line Water and Power Associates Newsletter. This issue covers Water and Energy issues which affect our everyday lives here in Southern California.

 

Read about:

 

◆ Update on the Strategic Long-Term Resource Plan

◆ NERC Long Term Reliability Assessment

◆ 2023-24 Eastern Sierra Snowpack Results

◆ Delta Conveyance Project Update – Multiple Roadblocks Challenge the Project

◆ Proposed Solar Energy Center in Southern Nevada Signs Purchase Agreement with San Diego

◆ More than 12,000 MWh of Energy Storage Installed in U.S. in Q4 2023

◆ Salton Sea Geothermal Development Could Produce Significant Source of Lithium for Growing Battery Production

◆ California Water Supply Update for 2024

◆ Mystery History Article directly from our Virtual Museum

◆ Guest Speaker Talk Summary (March 2024): Bill Hasencamp, MWD Manager of Colorado River Activities – Can the Colorado River Meet the Future Needs of the American Southwest?

◆ Guest Speaker Talk Summary (April 2024): Denis Obiang, Director of Power System Planning – Update on Power System Strategic Vision - Resources, Transmission, and Distribution Plans.

◆ Save the Date

◆ Membership Drive

Click HERE to see the April 2024 Newsletter

 

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Monthly Meetings and Upcoming Events

 
   

The Water and Power Associates (W&PA) Board Meetings (Zoom and/or In-Person) are held on the second Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All W&PA members and their guests are invited to attend. Please R.S.V.P. by contacting us at: webmaster@waterandpower.org

 

Board Meeting Schedule and Guest Speakers

 

◆ June 12, 2024

 

Guest Speaker: Nury Katz | Commissioner | Board of Water and Power Commissioners

Topic: Challenges Facing LADWP

Location: JFOB (Rm 1471) Hybrid / In-Person Zoom Meeting

 

◆ July 10, 2024

 

Guest Speaker: Aram Benyamin | Chief Operating Officer | LADWP

Topic: Tentative

Location: JFOB (Rm 1471) Hybrid / In-Person Zoom Meeting

 

◆ Aug 14, 2024

 

Guest Speaker: Raphael Villegas | Operation Next Manager | LADWP

Topic: Tentative

Location: JFOB (Rm 1471) Hybrid / In-Person Zoom Meeting

 

◆ Sept, 2024

 

Field Trip

Location: Headworks Reservoir

 

Please R.S.V.P. by contacting Jack Feldman at: webmaster@waterandpower.org

Click HERE to see list of previous meetings and speaker summaries.

 

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Virtual Museum

Visit our Virtual Museum and see how Water and Power contributed to the development of the City of Los Angeles.

 

 

Los Angeles Aqueduct  Opening Day Ceremony    November 5th, 1913

 

 

Click HERE to visit our Virtual Museum

 

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Historical Photo Archive

Explore our collection of historical photographs showcasing the evolution of Greater Los Angeles into the second-largest metropolitan area in the United States. See vintage images that capture the city's growth and development over time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE to visit our Historical Photo Collection

 

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New Museum Search Index

A new SEARCH INDEX has been added to help navigate through the more than 100 Sections and 20,000 images in our Virtual Museum and Historical Photo Collection. Try it out for a test run.

 

Click HERE for Search Index

 

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Proposed New Water Museum on Olvera Street

 

 

 

 

New Historical Water Exhibit on Olvera Street

The development of a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Historical Exhibit in the Hammel Building on Olvera Street has been approved by the Commissioners of LADWP and the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Monument Department (El Pueblo).

This new Exhibit will include the relocation of the existing History of Water Exhibit (which has been closed because it was not accessible to people with disabilities), expanded exhibits highlighting the role of the Department in the founding and development of Los Angeles, and present information on the sustainability efforts being undertaken by LADWP.

The Hammel Building which fronts on Olvera Street and also includes access to North Main Street is particularly suited for this exhibit because it contains an exposed portion of the Zanja Madre (the original water distribution system of Los Angeles).  It also has sufficient space (2,600 sq. ft.) to greatly expand the current displays to cover the historical roles of water and power in the development of the City of Los Angeles, as well as allowing for rotating exhibits focusing on current issues.

Click HERE for latest updates

 

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Featured Virtual Museum Section (Power)

 

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

The Early Los Angeles Streetlights Section explores the evolution of streetlights from gas lamps to the highly efficient LED’s that we see today.  It also highlights the beautiful streetlight designs that have illuminated this city throughout the last century.

Click HERE to see more.

 

 

Featured Virtual Museum Section (Water)

 
   

The old Pueblo de Los Angeles relied almost exclusively on the Los Angeles River for its water supply and thus its survival. In the early years water from the river was channeled through a distribution system of crude dams, water wheels and ditches. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, but it wasn’t until ten years later that the City, through a lease contract with the LA Water Works Co., completed its first water system. Click HERE to see more in Water in Early Los Angeles.

 

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Intake Magazine

 
   

Intake, the magazine produced for LADWP employees and retirees, is now online and updated every quarter! Visit www.LADWPIntake.com and see the latest stories related to local water and energy issues as well as other current LADWP activities. You can also subscribe to receive a quarterly email highlighting the most recently posted stories.

 

Click HERE to see the latest quarterly Intake Magazine

 

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Recent Museum Additions

How much has Los Angeles air quality improved since the 1940s? Find out in our newest section titled: Smog in Early Los Angeles

 
The Hollywood sign is barely visible through the smog in this photo taken from above Lake Hollywood in Cahuenga Pass.  

 

Another recent addition to our Virtual Museum, Historical LADWP Facts & Figures, includes a chronological listing of significant events in the Department's History.

 

Also, check out some of our more recent addtions:

 

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Mystery History

Test your knowledge of Los Angeles History by visiting our Mystery History Section.

 
This June 24, 1965 photo shows the opening ceremony for DWP's General Office Building located at 111 N. Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. As part of the ceremony the eight fountains outside the building were turned on by granddaughters of the two men who were DWP's first chief engineers. Who were DWP's first two chief engineers?  

 

Click HERE to visit our Mystery History Section for Answers

 

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Special Collections

In our Virtual Museum Section, we offer a collection of oral histories covering the growth and development of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) as seen by the participants – its employees.  The collection preserves the stories of distinctive and diverse individuals whose historical experiences have shaped the collective memory of DWP.

 

 

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We also have links to special collections, papers and databases that provide unique and diverse perspectives into the history of the municipal water system in Los Angeles during the 20th century.

These collections, hosted by the CSUN Oviatt Digital Library and sponsored by Metabolic Studios, offer researchers insight into the unique history of urban development and the evolution of the municipal water system in Los Angeles. Records in the collections chronicle the roles played by politicians and local politics; private business and industry; civic organizations; and local, state, and federal governmental agencies invested in providing water to the city’s rapidly growing population.

 

 

We've added a collection of Commission Reports that highlights significant events in the history of the municipal water and power system in Los Angeles.  Featured are early reports related to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Owens Valley and the St. Francis Dam disaster.

 

 

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Featured Historical Interview

For an insightful perspective on the relationship between Owens Valley and the City of Los Angeles following the construction of the LA Aqueduct as well as the dynamics between early DWP management and City Officials, read the transcripts of a Steve Erie interview with Robert V. Phillips, Chief Engineer and General Manager of DWP, 1972-75 (Both Mr. Phillips and his father knew and worked with William Mulholland and H. A. Van Norman).

 

Robert Phillips Interview:     Part 1 --- Part 2 --- Part 3

 

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Have Someting Historical To Share? We Want to Know!

Do you have items to share? We would welcome photos of old buildings, early city views, correspondence, newspapers, early sports teams, and events that pertain to the History of Water and Electricity and/or the History of Los Angeles and Southern California in general. If you would like to retain the originals, we would be happy to scan the items and return them to you.

Take a look in your attics, and think of what you can help us collect for future generations to enjoy! If interested, please contact us at: webmaster@waterandpower.org.

 

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Help Support Our Cause

Click the Donate button to make a donation via PayPal to the Water and Power Associates, Inc. and support our ongoing endeavors researching, documenting and sharing information about critical water and energy issues, and its history in the development of Southern California.

Note: Water and Power Associates, Inc. is a 501 (c) 4 organization, and donations are deductible to the extent permitted by law.

 

 

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