Chinatown Revisited: Arsenic and the Los Angeles Water Supply

Janet Hering, California Institute of Technology, E & S: About Engineering and Science

This quarterly magazine article addresses the presence of arsenic in the Los Angeles water supply, tracing it back to Owens Valley and the development of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. It begins by offering an image-rich history of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and then explains current research in Owens Valley, particularly Hot Creek Gorge. Maps, charts, and graphs are used to illustrate data supporting the involvement of biological activity- primarily microbial- in the oxidation of arsenite As(III). The article concludes with a look at the environmental consequences both arsenic and the Los Angeles Aqueduct have had on Owens Valley.

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Subject: Biology:Ecology:Symbiotic Relations:Mutualism, Biology:Ecology:Metabolism, Biology:Biogeochemistry, Microbiology
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: Graduate/Professional, College Upper (15-16), College Lower (13-14)
Extreme Environments: Altered by Humans, Extremely Hot
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Biogeoscience