Bending the River Back into the City

MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION NG-12-___-BE: The "Bending the River Back into the City" project proposes a water wheel near the Los Angeles River at 1796 N. Baker Street. The property, which is currently owned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), is located approximately 0.4 mile west of the Golden State Freeway and approximately 0.8 mile east of Dodger Stadium. The project area is approximately 2 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. The purpose of the project is to physically divert water from the LA River and create an aesthetic and educational statement, showing that the LA River can be used as a source of water. Additional purposes include enhancing connections between the surrounding community and the LA River; and providing a viable long-term non-potable irrigation water source for the State Park and other local demands. A 10-foot by 80-foot pit would be excavated for the water wheel. The water wheel would be a maximum of 70 feet in diameter and its hub would be at the existing ground level. An inflatable dam would be installed in the LA River to impound and divert water to a pipe feeding the water wheel pit. Some of the water will be lifted by the wheel, filtered, disinfected and used for irrigation. The remainder of the water will be returned to the LA River downstream from the inflatable dam.

An Initial Study has been prepared to assess the potential environmental impacts of this project. Mitigation measures have been incorporated into the project to ensure that any impacts are reduced to a less than significant level. As such, the City proposes to adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration. The Initial Study is available for review at the Los Angeles Public Library, 630 W. 5th Street, the Los Angeles Chinatown Branch Library, 639 N. Hill Street, and online at A copy of the Initial Study may also be obtained by contacting Jim Doty of the Bureau of Engineering at (213) 485-5759.

The 30-day public review period starts October 14, 2013. Comments must be received by November 14, 2013, by email to (please include "waterwheel" in the subject), or by delivery to:

Jim Doty
City of Los Angeles
1149 South Broadway, Suite 600, Mail Stop 939
Los Angeles, CA 90015.

If you have any questions, please contact Jim Doty at (213) 485-5759 or via e-mail at

(Click on italicized text to view report)
Review Status Public Review Period
Notice of Intent to Adopt MND    
Initial Study & Checklist Open October 14, 2013 - November 14, 2013
PDF icon2019 ISMND Addendum