Letter to the editor: DWP and conflict resolution

la_aqueductDear Editor
    November 5, 2013 will be the Centennial, the 100 year anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The incredible idea and the engineering feat that has flowed mostly unabated for 99 years,  is in stark contrast to the ongoing dysfunctional conflicts that rage on and on between folks in the Owens Valley and the DWP.  We seem to know something about hydrodynamics yet hardly a whisper of humanity. 
    I had a sense to attend the Owens Valley Committee meeting Dec 12 at the White Mountain Research Station . DWP won’t talk to me so……..There was a presentation made, centered around the Long Term Water Agreement. There was a panel discussion with folks who had given a big part of themselves to have helped author and participate in the Agreement formulation process. The difficulties of achieving and the maintenance of the Agreement were addressed and later discussed with everyone in the room. The discussion was mostly about a history and prognosis of failure, of disappointment and yet there is a resolve to venture forth into the future with The DWP. The OVC is not going to disappear.
    I have had questions, reactions and thoughts of what I should do as an individual. As much as anyone, I love this place. Always happy to say I live in Bishop. I ‘d sure like to see the next 100 years here. At least I can imagine and hope how everything could be better. I want my oak tree to still be changing  colors with the seasons . I like to imagine the snow fall all around us . I’d like to think of everyone, despite being of all different types of individuals, still mostly getting  along and still being  good neighbors and friends . I’d like to think that  DWP as an institution could also become a better neighbor and friend . I might be crazy to think that this could happen but it can and it’s not a bad idea. It’s not nearly as crazy as DWP wanting every drop of water no matter what, no matter what the price.
    Everything and everyone needs water. We all can agree to that . As a starting point of renewed trust and and hope for going forward, how about continuing the list of what’s agreeable of the common ideas and ground that we share. How about growing up and being adults ,that being and having the ability to teach our children well. What about a gift to coming generations, lessons and examples of resolution of conflict, avoiding war whether it’s words ,lawyers or however it is waged .  It is time for peace in this Valley that matches the beauty and majesty all around us. As a mother gives sustenance to its young so that they grow healthy , strong and sustainable so can Mother Nature via the Aqueduct continue to give sustenance,strength and sustainability  to a city and the lives of it’s people, the key word being sustainability.   Have we not learned anything of how to address and resolve  issues in the past 99 years. What about  the next 100 years. It is time for the Technical Group to communicate in a better ways and find solutions , as well as the Standing Committee. If those individuals on those groups cannot or will not advance  the process then take a break from what is above your abilities and let someone else have a try.  There should be a unified recognition and resolution of all issues and then some kind of celebration of the Centennial of the flowing waters might be possible. Although some may disagree as to the wisdom of the initial idea of the Aqueduct, well, it’s here . Millions of people rely on the water.That however does not mean that the DWP has a million times more right to the water. Rather or in addition the DWP has a correlating million times more responsibility with Mother Nature in mind.  There is still time to achieve progress in this first century. DWP took on the responsibility of dealing with Mother Nature in the Owens Valley,  99 years ago. DWP recommitted to that responsibility when they signed the Water Agreement. They need to become steadfast in that responsibility. It should not be up to people outside the DWP to monitor dust from the Owens Lake or any other of the issues that have been raised. All these issues should have been identified by the DWP and they without prodding,without discussion and without legal redress  should have taken responsibility and found and made solutions years ago.
     Educators at Cal Poly Pomona are working on a vision for the future of the Aqueduct, www.acqueductfutures.wordpress.com  How about some of my DWP rate payer dollars supporting this work. That would be about a commitment to accept and deal responsibly with the results and recommendations of their conclusions . It seems that if DWP and the City of Los Angeles cannot do this then they’ll just continue on the path to suck the Owens Valley dry and with that horrific result, in the next hundred years, then  they will have plenty of sand in which to bury their heads.. Thank you for this opportunity to express my opinion,  Philip Anaya
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Steve
Steve
9 years ago

I posted the above letter form President Roosevelt to help put into prospective the mind set of the day. And to say the Federal government was the one that gave LA the rights to the water. At the time there was no way to know what the drying of Owens… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Why should tax payers in another state foot the bill? That is the implication of dumping the problem on the Federal Government. Where is all this money coming from? Imagine you are a taxpayer in, oh, lets say Virginia, or maybe Wisconsin and you have two small counties in California… Read more »

Steve
Steve
9 years ago

I believe in a responsible government that if they make a mistake they fix it. In the case of Owens Lake the fed made it possible for LA to take the water. That makes it their responsibility in some part to help with the fix.

Jeremiah's Alter Ego
Jeremiah's Alter Ego
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Accountability?? With the Feds?? Seldom Seen!!
I like where you are heading but Again Accountability with our current Government is seldom seen.

Marco (Pepe)
Marco (Pepe)
9 years ago

“It is time for the Technical Group to communicate in a better ways and find solutions , as well as the Standing Committee.” I agree which is why I have repeatedly advocated for taking up DWP on their offer to build a biomass conversion and algae production operation on Owens… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

No matter who I am or what I do, I have reponsibilities and expectations with all these issues. If I am a resident,a DWP employee or rate payer, an official or elected representative, an advocate,whatever, I am a stakeholder and I am affected by the DWP. I think intervention is… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

Desalinization costs in excess of $2000 per acre foot. Desalinization also requires huge amounts of electrical energy and creates a waste stream of concentrated brine mixed with all the pollutants removed from the water that is highly toxic to marine life and must be disposed of in some way. Water… Read more »

salblaster
salblaster
9 years ago

I was wondering how much water is being exported vs how much falls as precipitation in the eastern sierra watershed and could’nt find the numbers. so I got out a inyo forrest map with square mile grid and started calculating area. for the eastern sierra watershed I counted square miles… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

I would say that is about right salblaster,

Reality Check
Reality Check
9 years ago

You are right. That may happen in the next 500,000 years. But in the short term….

Mike Prather, Lone Pine
Mike Prather, Lone Pine
9 years ago

Everyone in this thread does realize that the “LADWP” person is not really LADWP?

Jeremiah's Alter Ego
Jeremiah's Alter Ego
9 years ago

Yeah and DWP would probably appreciate that the individual that thinks it is funny to get away from the computer.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago

The vocano at Long Valley Caldera will soon enough, well maybe not soon enough for some, make short work of LA’s aquaduct. When Lake Crowley is buried in lava and Long Valley Dam swept before it LA won’t have an appetite for the sulfurous waters of the Owens River.

Waxlips
Waxlips
9 years ago

I’d like to see an earthquake take out the Jawbone Siphon.

MARK
MARK
9 years ago
Reply to  Waxlips

With the owens river being the cheapest water source DWP would fix the siphon asap.

The only thing that will slow the flow of water south is if owens river water becomes more expensive then their next cheapest source.

Steve
Steve
9 years ago

I found this copy of the letter by President Theodore Roosevelt attached to the bill giving the Owens valley water to Los Angeles. Since this was done by the federal government. Should’t it be the federal government that fixes the damage done by their law? The President’s letter is as… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Thanks for sharing this letter. In response I would disagree with the President and argue the “infinite greater interest” is not in the people of LA or for that matter those of the Owens Valley, but rather and most simply in the Nature of One or All. Destroying Nature destroys… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  MJA

Los Angeles County has the most jobs and the greatest income derived from manufacturing of any county in the US. In terms of GDP, it would be the 20th largest economy in the world were LA County an independent country. The twin ports of LA and Long Beach rank 6th… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago

The point is not who is more important than the other. We accept that Los Angeles has an aqueduct and has built a very large city with
Eastern Sierra water. The issue is ethical treatment of the Inyo-Mono environment and its people, minus greed and hate.
Benett Kessler

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Under western water law, “first in time implies first in right” and water rights remain invoilable under continuous beneficial use. LA unarguably has these rights. Regardless of one’s sentimentality, courts have steadfastly upheld seniority or water rights over all other claims.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I see the Tortoise’ statement, is is true, but as Benett says, it is respect that should be shown along with accountability, not so much to Inyo and Mono county or it’s people, but mainly, to the environment foremost! The idea of the importance of Los Angeles is a big… Read more »

LADWP
LADWP
9 years ago

Ah yes, Manifest Destiny is alive an well. It did not work out so well for the natives.

Waxlips
Waxlips
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve

The mind-set of the day. Little did they know.

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Waxlips

Mind set of today … “Little do they know” even now. This is why so many regulations and rights get taken away …. “Little do they know!”

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
9 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Thanks for sharing. TR was our first progressive President who believed in the supervisory role of government to ensure that the needs of the many, which outweigh the needs of a few, are enforced by a muscular but wise federal government. This letter is a perfect example of it –… Read more »

Desco
Desco
9 years ago

http://web.mit.edu/12.000/www/m2012/finalwebsite/solution/desal.shtml

Read it and weep. Desal costs way too much.
S B is a small town and one of the wealthiest. And it still cost too much to operate.
It costs the city a fortune every year just to maintain.

Trouble
Trouble
9 years ago

Big Rick- It’s called long term greed on DWP’s part. Sorry, it’s also the politicians in L.A. that are just as greedy. They could give a s***t about Owens Valley.

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
9 years ago

If a small town like Santa Barbara (compared to L.A.) can build their own desalinazation plant, to feed off of the infinite water supply of the Pacific Ocean, WHY in the hell can’t the” City of Angels” do the same ???IF they did, they wouldn’t need one drop of Owens… Read more »

Tim
Tim
9 years ago

Do you mean the desalination plant that is sitting idle, not having been used in ten years and is not in condition to fire back up unless they put about a million bucks into it?

Reality Check
Reality Check
9 years ago

The infinite Pacific Ocean as a source of fresh water has a big problem. There is not an infinite source of cheap fossil fuel energy to power a desalinazation plant.

Mike Prather, Lone Pine
Mike Prather, Lone Pine
9 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

or to pump the water up hill into the land areas.

Reality Check
Reality Check
9 years ago

Good Point Mark, but just in case some don’ get it, everyone should know that the 1938 radio broadcast “War of the Worlds” was a hoax also. There was no Martian invasion.

MARK
MARK
9 years ago

Big Rick OBrien – The problem with Santa Barbara’s desal plant is they don’t use it. The reason they don’t use it is the bottom line isn’t about water conservation it’s ABOUT MONEY. Santa Barbara will continue to purchase water from other sources and not use their desal plant as… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  MARK

And if you were an LA rate payer, how would you feel if your DWP decided to build a desal plant and make fresh water at $2000 an acre foot when Owens Valley water is available for less than half that cost? If LA DWP tried to do that their… Read more »

LADWP
LADWP
9 years ago

We have the money, we have the power and we have the water.

Now go away.

Waxlips
Waxlips
9 years ago
Reply to  LADWP

Your’s is a typical DWP response. Answer me this, how do you suggest we go away? What makes the people of LA more Important or better than the people of the Owens Valley? If you can answer that, please enlighten us. Are you suggesting this is a human rights issue?

LADWP
LADWP
9 years ago
Reply to  Waxlips

Might makes right. You cannot fight us and win. You will soon tire of the fight and move on with your lives.

Waxlips
Waxlips
9 years ago
Reply to  LADWP

Might: superior power or strength; force: the theory that might makes right.

LADWP has the power yes, however, it doesn’t mean they are right.

Just because you believe your theory to be true, doesn’t mean that it is.

Mother Nature always prevails. LADWP will loose in the end.

LADWP
LADWP
9 years ago
Reply to  Waxlips

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!!!!

Jeremiah's Alter Ego
Jeremiah's Alter Ego
9 years ago
Reply to  LADWP

OK I agree you have the supply and demand, But you do not have the sustainability for the consumption rate!
So which plush valley is next??