I’m all for a Highline-style restoration of the L.A. River, but there are some salient critiques here about what a restored river would look like and if the creation of parks will be a fair, sustainable, equitable use of resources:
But is this restoration or the (re)invention of the Los Angeles River? The river’s flow today is tertiary treated sewage from the Tillman Sewage Treatment Plant and dry weather run-off from urban irrigation. Most of the River’s own indigenous flow is captured by the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the city’s drinking water supply and kept in underground aquifers. Only when it rains does the river have true flow, and since the river is channelized to prevent flooding, most of the rainflow is directed to the sea. In its natural state, the river was usually dry in the summer months, its flow fluctuated dramatically with seasonal rainfall, meandered through the basin, and changed course over time. It provided a rich riparian corridor for fauna and flora, and supplied groundwater basins all year round, including by sub-surface summer flows.