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In many ways, Owens Lake — which dried up early last century when the city of Los Angeles began diverting the lake’s water supply to a major aqueduct — is a cautionary tale and a harbinger of disasters to come. Climate change is altering patterns of drought and rainfall across the world, and demand for water is growing. Just 500 miles from Owens Lake, Utah’s Great Salt Lake is drying rapidly and creating another stream of toxic dust. And while Owens Lake has finally managed to get its air pollution problems in check, it came at enormous cost. In a sense, it is lucky that there is such an example already out there, if only to demonstrate how important it will be to avoid a similar fate.