A native people fight for their stolen waters

Los Angeles was running out of water in the early 1900s, and Payahuunadü, “land of flowing water” in the Nüümü language, had lots of it. City officials hatched a plan to take the water from what white settlers had renamed the Owens Valley. Today, about a third of L.A.’s water comes from Payahuunadü and other parts of the Eastern Sierra, and many of its streams and lakes are mostly gone. FERN staff writer and REAP/SOW host Teresa Cotsirilos digs into Indigenous efforts to forge a modern resolution of this water conflict. This episode was produced in partnership with KQED’s California Report Magazine.

Scroll to Top