Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

When old infrastructures give way to new uses, one always has to cheer. The past doesn't have to hamper a city's residents. At its best, it could be a building block for better things in the future. This proposal for Silver Lake Reservoirs is something a community group took time to study and imagine. I hope it gains a foothold with the public agencies in LA.


Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Yosuke Kitazawa
Published: 9 July 2013, KCET

Regional water management solution for the Silver Lake Reservoirs | Courtesy of Craig Collins
At a meeting on June 19 inside the Micheltorena Elementary School Auditorium, Silver Lake residents, including Dion Neutra, a reservoir-adjacent homeowner and son of architecture icon Richard Neutra, gathered to hear about the future of the Silver Lake Reservoir.

An unquestioned amenity around the neighborhood, the Silver Lake Reservoir often hosts families basking in the sunshine, joggers getting some healthy exercise, and pet-lovers taking their dogs out for a walk. It is a seeming idyllic paradise, but new water quality regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires the L.A. Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to fully decommission the reservoir. The Ivanhoe Reservoir, the upper body of water, is currently an open source of drinking water. The Silver Lake Reservoir, the lower body of water, was taken offline in 2008.

LADWP's current preferred plan is to tunnel underneath the reservoir to maintain the water supply connection, but re-fill the Ivanhoe and Silver Lake Reservoirs after work is done. The community is still weighing the pros and cons of such a plan, but the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy (SLRC) is looking farther into the future. [read more]


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