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Mono Basin Water Diversion

A project to acquire additional water for the Los Angles Aqueduct was completed in 1941. It extended the aqueduct system 105 miles further north and diverted the waters of four creeks into a tunnel that added them to the Owens River.

Tioga Pass on the eastern boundary of Yosemite

 thumbnail - Timberline meadow just east of the Yosemite entrance station

Timberline meadow just east of the Yosemite entrance station

Lee Vining Canyon in Inyo National Forest, California

July 14, 2005
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The East Side of Tioga Pass

Ellery Lake near the headwaters of Lee Vining Creek

The Los Angeles Aqueduct's sources begin with the lakes along Lee Vining Creek at the east entrance to Yosemite National Park.

 thumbnail - Next to the weather station at Ellery Lake

Next to the weather station at Ellery Lake

Lee Vining Canyon in Inyo National Forest, California

July 14, 2005
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The East Side of Tioga Pass

Lee Vining Creek diversion into the Los Angeles Aqueduct


Grant Lake stores the waters of Rush Creek for diversion into the Los Angeles Aqueduct


The Rush Creek Return Ditch


Rush Creek once again runs down to Mono Lake

 thumbnail - Rush Creek as it approaches the shore of Mono Lake

Rush Creek as it approaches the shore of Mono Lake

south of Lee Vining, California

July 17, 2005
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West and South of Mono Lake

Tufa towers on the south edge of Mono Lake

As the waters of Mono Lake receded more and more of these dramtic tufa towers were exposed.

 thumbnail - Tufa towers at the edge of Mono Lake, view three

Tufa towers at the edge of Mono Lake, view three

South Tufa State Reserve, Mono Lake, California

July 17, 2005
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South Tufa State Reserve at Mono Lake

The level of Mono Lake must be maintained at its 1963 elevation of 6392 feet.

 thumbnail - Legally mandated level of Mono Lake at South Tufa

Legally mandated level of Mono Lake at South Tufa

South Tufa State Reserve, Mono Lake, California

July 17, 2005
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South Tufa State Reserve at Mono Lake

Water diverted from Mono Lake runs under the Mono Craters in an 11 mile long tunnel.

 thumbnail - Mono Tunnel road

A pipeline tunnel big enough to drive through runs eleven miles in a straight line under the Mono Craters. Opened in 1941, it was built to conduct water from the Mono Basin through the divide and into the Owens River and eventually the Los Angeles Owens Valley Aqueduct.

Inyo National Forest, California

July 29, 2015
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The Mono Craters

The water diverted from the Mono Basin streams is added to the Owens River


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Skyscrapers - Canada
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Los Angeles Aqueduct