Colorado River Aqueduct, California

One of the three major aqueduct systems that make Los Angeles possible. The aqueduct carries water 242 miles, from Lake Havasu, on the Colorado River, to Lake Matthews in western Riverside County, at the edge of the Great City. Built by the Metropolitan District Water Commission (MWD), the aqueduct was under construction for eight years, and was finished in 1941. The aqueduct lifts the water 1,617 feet through five pumping plants. There are 92 miles of tunnels, 63 miles of concrete canals, 55 miles of concrete conduits, and 144 siphons totaling 29 miles. It has a rated capacity of 1,800 cubic feet per second, allowing it to transport as much as 1.3 million acre-feet of water annually. A large raised-relief map of the Mojave, built for the design of the aqueduct, is on display at the General Patton Museum, at Chiriaco Summit, off I-10 in the Mojave. (The map was also taken to Washington DC where it was displayed to Congress to help pass the Boulder Canyon Act in 1928).