Those property owners (circa 1907-1914) who forced the city to purchase their land and water rights in the Owens Valley are as much if not more to blame for the condition in the Owens Valley as are Los Angeles or the Department of Water and Power. Though the DWP and the city of Los Angeles are neither perfect nor blameless with respect to the current conditions in the Owens Valley, your Nov. 12 editorial ("Glimpse of a Rainbow") completely ignores the historical context of water export from the Owens Valley.
The city's original water export plans focused solely on "surplus spring runoff," only that portion of the spring runoff that was not firm (guaranteed to property owners adjacent to the river). These same property owners had a plan in the works for this same "surplus spring runoff." They would capture it for later on, on their own farmland. When the city's water bureau, under William Mulholland, acquired key land parcels and provided funds required for construction (a bond issue), the Owens Valley property owners had no way of capturing or storing the surplus spring runoff. But it was the right to use the spring runoff that they were to use in battling the city.