Amid the politics and corruption that surround the inception and continuing impact of the 223 mile Los Angeles Aqueduct lies the destitution of Owens Valley and the mega-metropolis of Los Angeles.
But we often forget that this artificial, man-made infrastructure lies not only around lakes and the urban city but is also fragmented by barren deserts, national forests, volcanic craters, arsenic dust bowls, snow-filled, mountainous terrains, and other sensitive regions that are currently feeling the effects of climate change.
We forget that infrastructure so ambitious requires multiple nodes of intervention not confined to just Owens Valley and Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Aqueduct is fragmented with multiple siphons, dams, reservoirs, power plants, diversions, flumes, surge tanks, and gauging stations.
These artificial nodes of massive and static fragmentation aren’t able to adapt to the climate change of their respective natural ecologies on which they rest. They are also losing potential capital by letting too much water evaporate and not producing enough energy.
Manufactured ecology is the combination of
1. the artificial nodes or fragments of the aqueduct that are wasteful with their flows of capital and
2. the natural ecologies on which these fragments rest that are experiencing climate change. Through the lens of Owens Valley, Los Angeles, and the fragments in-between, this thesis will examine these manufactured ecologies with a goal in mind.
The goal will be to incorporate the dynamic into the static within these nodes or fragments with flexible architecture that minimizes waste of capital while adapting to the changing conditions of these regions.
Then we can apply this flexible network to other fragmented infrastructures of water and energy that begs for responsibility with capital and adaptability within their surrounding region.
In turn, we can start to understand that static fragmentation epitomizes larger scale issues of water and energy conservation.