Mulholland, William

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  • William Mulholland (1855–1935) served the City of Los Angeles, California, as the chief engineer of its waterworks system from 1902 to 1928. During that time, he was instrumental in the city's decision to purchase water rights to the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra and in the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which ensured a reliable water supply for the city. However, his career was not without controversy. Owens Valley residents opposed the taking of water from the river, and in 1927, a water war erupted, during which the aqueduct was dynamited numerous times. In 1928, the Saint Francis Dam, a new city water reservoir in San Francisquito Canyon, collapsed, killing some 450 people who were caught in the resulting flood. Mulholland took full ...

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