Human Activities Have Impacted Rivers Since The Birth Of Civilization

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Human activities have impacted rivers since the birth of civilization. For millennia, water from rivers has been, used, re-used, diverted, depleted, polluted, sold, flushed, fought for, stolen, ruled, exchanged and more. To understand what affects the quality and quantity of water for The Los Angeles River, we must understand the water sources that charge and shape the River’s watershed. Moreover, we must also understand the Los Angeles River and its interaction with the environment. You see, as the River moves downgradient (downhill), it interconnects with its environment, both man-made (i.e., pavement, bridges), geologic (i.e., soil, rocks), organic (i.e., tree roots, plants), pollutants and more. At FoLAR, we believe that understanding…show more content…
In other words, areas of higher elevation see a lot more rainfall than areas of lower elevation. At higher elevations, the Los Angeles river tributaries are dominated by natural flows, which are seasonally affected by rain and snowfall. On the lower elevations, where most of the population lives, water to the River is supplemented by effluent and urban runoff. The latter changes the profile of the river from a body of water that is ephemeral, to a body of water that is permanent. Interestingly, because Los Angeles County depends heavily on imported water, water from the Colorado River and the Eastern Sierra Nevada indirectly ends up being part of the Los Angeles River. In the name of conquering the west, humans in the Western United States have long exerted control of bodies of water, the Los Angeles River is yet another example. Natural water resources for the River during rainy months flow from the following mountain ranges: Santa Susana Mountains, the Verdugo Hills, and the Northern side of the Santa Monica Mountains. During dry months, effluents dominate the river in the coastal plane. Recycled water is tertiary-treated effluents that go through at least three stages of purification to remove more than 99 percent of all the impurities to produce an effluent of almost drinking-water quality. The water reclamation plants that provide effluent to the River
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