Back in the 1860s, the city of Los Angeles constructed a large waterwheel on the Zanja Madre, also know as the Mother Ditch. The purpose of the structure was to bring water from Rio Porciuncula to the Los Angeles River. Now, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a new waterwheel is to be designed by Metabolic Studio‘s Lauren Bon and installed near the same site by November 5th, 2013.
The 60-foot water wheel, called “La Noria” (Spanish for water wheel), will be fully functional and will be capable of moving 28 million gallons of water. It is hoped that the waterwheel will help in the irrigation of the state park, saving more than $100,000 a year.
As La Noria flows with the LA River, the diverted water would be filtered and transported through a pipe towards the 32-acre state park. This would leave the rest of the river to continue on its way to the ocean without the need for a massive redirection project.
The Metabolic Studio, which is designed the waterwheel, is led by artist and Annenberg heiress Lauren Bon. It is not surprising to learn then that the project is being funded by the Annenberg Foundation. Bon previously unveiled her “Not a Cornfield” project at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in 2005.
There are still some obstacles to be overcome. Approvals and permits must be issued by multiple agencies including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Department of Public Health, City Departments of Water and Power, Planning, Building and Safety, the Bureau of Engineering, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. However, the construction of La Noria has already been given the green light by the Los Angeles River Cooperation Committee.
Speaking to Zev’s Blog, Bon said: “This work is about saying we need to do a lot better very quickly with figuring out two things: how to retain our water and how to send the rest of it out to sea cleaner.”Pre-construction work is already underway and if you live in the area, you can view an aluminum prototype of the proposed water wheel at Metabolic Studio.
Via Zev’s Blog
Images: Zev’s Blog/Eastsider