In a New York Times article entitled “The Water Fight That Inspired ‘Chinatown,’” journalist Felicity Barringer discussed the Owens Valley water project that siphoned water from the Owens River east of the Sierra Nevada to fuel the growing city of Los Angeles in the early twentieth century. This project inspired the 1974 film Chinatown. Gary Libecap, Hoover research fellow and cochair of the John and Jean De Nault Task Force on Property Rights, Freedom, and Prosperity, had written about the project in his 2007 book Owens Valley Revisited: A Reassessment of the West's First Great Water Transfer. Barringer, in her article, quotes Libecap: “The Owens Valley history is important for understanding the politics of water reallocation and the difficulties faced by water markets today.”
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