If there’s one thing we can all agree on when it comes to water, it’s that the management systems are complicated.  These weekly Drought Diaries posts seek to simplify the process, but sometimes, even we get overwhelmed.

So this week, we’re getting back to basics.  Conservation, recycling, and use can be as simple as ABC, so we’re putting together an alphabet of water issues, which you can use as a handy-dandy guide when you find a term whose definition you may not know.

To keep this post from getting out of hand, we’re just going to focus on the first half of the alphabet this week.

Alabama Gates are a stop along our route that has long been a source of contention, this site has been the host of protests and even domestic terrorism attempts.

Brine is an off-set created in desalination.  It’s dangerous for ocean life and there’s no green way to dispose of it, which is why we support alternative means of supplying our city with water.

Conservation is a term we’ve all heard with energy, but it’s important with water, too.  By conserving, we can ensure there’s enough water to go around for everyone.

 The Alabama Gates.

The Alabama Gates.

Drought.  It’s real, it’s in its fourth year, and it’ll be around for a while.  Of course, conservation should be an all-the-time process, but this heavily-reported drought at least raises awareness.

Easements are legal allowances for one group to use another group’s land without buying it outright- which is how the LADWP-owned aqueduct passes through so many state and national parks.

Fines – and big ones – what you incur if you wash your driveway with a hose or water your lawn during the day.  If people won’t voluntarily conserve, the city will enforce conservation.

Gray water is water that is not suitable for drinking, but can be used in lawn care and gardening.  It’s a way to re-use water in your house so you can use less overall.

Haiwee Reservoir – one of our stops along the route, the Haiwee Reservoir marks roughly the half-way point between Los Angeles and Lee Vining (at least, the way we’re walking)

Importation has been the primary water-gathering system for a century in Los Angeles.  Unfortunatley, our actions in our city have negative impacts on communities hundreds of miles away.

 Haiwee Reservoir

Haiwee Reservoir

Jawbone Canyon represents one of the engineering feats that comprise the LA Aqueduct.  Since the aqueduct is powered by gravity alone, getting water to travel uphill requires a particular engineering finess embodied by this structure.

Kentucky Warbler are just one of the species of migrating birds that depend on Mono Lake for food and rest during their transcontinental flights.

Local water sources include recycling and reclaiming what’s already here, and cleaning up our water table.  We sincerely believe that with conscientious management, our city can get by with what we already have.

Mono Lake doesn’t directly supply us with any water – the lake is too salty and alkali, but the rivers that feed the lake have been historically diverted to our city