The Los Angeles Times reports on a daily battle of wills between the tiny enclave of 40 Acres and LA's water district. To hear the Times tell it, every morning for two years now, stubborn residents of 40 Acres have opened a gate in the waterworks to feed Pine Creek and water their town. Every afternoon, officials from the Department of Water and Power shut that gate and divert water back to the city. Inevitably the dispute is headed for court, where Los Angeles may not prevail.
In previous long legal battles, the DWP was forced to give up significant amounts of water to steady water levels in Mono Lake, re-water parts of the dry Owens Lake to help prevent dust storms and restore a 62-mile stretch of the Lower Owens River. Earlier this year, an Inyo County Superior Court judge ordered Los Angeles to pay fines of $5,000 a day until water was flowing once again in the Lower Owens.Just as inevitably, the Times quotes Mark Twain, who said "Whiskey's for drinkin', water's for fightin'." It was no idle quip. In the new century, experts fear that growing tensions over scarce water resources will lead to outright wars -- not just legal battles -- in arid regions around the globe.