Owens Lake, on the eastern flanks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in southeastern California, was, at its peak, a 200-square-mile perennial lake. Located at the terminus of the Owens River, it held water continuously for at least 800,000 years. It is now an extreme example of the destabilizing effect of surface-water extraction in desert regions. Click here to start slide show. Beginning in 1913, the Owens River was diverted to bring water to the city of Los Angeles, and by the mid-1920s Owens Lake was dry. For decades, the lake's dry bed produced enormous amounts of windblown dust. Indeed, it …