LADWP responds to Inyo Supervisors

Press release from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

BISHOP, CA – In a Media Release dated May 3, 2016, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors asserts that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has not provided the County information on a program for reasonable reductions to irrigation and water supply on LA-owned lands and Enhancement and Mitigation projects in the Owens Valley. It is unfortunate that Inyo Supervisors put this message out to the public as LADWP has been forthcoming and communicative with the Inyo County Water Department every step of the way.

In the media release, Inyo County Board of Supervisors state, “LADWP has yet to provide the County or the community with any written proposal to evaluate.” This statement is disingenuous as the County was aware that LADWP would be providing the Inyo County Water Department (ICWD) with the written program the day after this news release was issued, and were further aware that the program would be made available for public comment on Friday, May 6 at the Inyo/LA Technical Group meeting. Perpetuating this type of misinformation is a disservice to the public.

An outline of LADWP’s communications with the County in regard to developing this program are as follows: LADWP placed an item on the Standing Committee’s February 8 agenda reading, “Direct the Technical Group to develop and present to the Standing Committee for approval and implementation at its next scheduled meeting, a program for reasonable reductions in irrigation water supply on LA-owned lands and for enhancement/mitigation projects.” This meeting did not result in a vote on the item as it was not agendized as an “Action Item.”

At the following Standing Committee meeting on March 31, LADWP placed the same item on the agenda as an Action Item and requested a vote. The item was approved by the Standing Committee at that meeting.

In response to the approval of that action item, LADWP and the ICWD scheduled a Technical Group meeting to be held Friday, May 6 in order to discuss the program’s development. The meeting date was agreed upon with the ICWD on April 13. The agenda for the meeting, including an item to develop a program for reasonable reductions, was approved by the ICWD on May 2.

Beyond these public communications on the topic, LADWP also met with the ICWD on April 28 to discuss concepts of the proposed program for reductions. During that meeting Jim Yannotta, LADWP Manager of Aqueduct, relayed to the ICWD that the program discussed at the May 6 Technical Group meeting would be agendized as an Action Item on the Standing Committee’s May 12 agenda. It was also agreed during the April 28 meeting that LADWP and ICWD would meet again on May 4 to further discuss the program for reductions and present to the ICWD plan for reasonable reductions prior to the Technical Group’s upcoming meeting.

LADWP and ICWD met on May 4 as scheduled and outlined in detail the proposed reduction program. At that meeting a copy of the proposed program was provided to the ICWD as well as a request for comments.

LADWP then proposed a fair and reasonable program for reduction on May 6 at the Technical Group meeting and accepted comments on the plan. The proposed program was developed by reviewing water indexes from multiple locations across the state to establish a baseline definition for the term “dry year.”

Utilizing this data, staff compared numbers with similar periods in the Owens Valley and developed three dry year classifications: below normal, dry and critical dry. Based on these classifications a reasonable water use reduction was proposed. For the first year of a dry period, LADWP proposed asking for no reduction in irrigation. Should a second dry year period follow, then limited but incremental reductions would ensue.

These increments were deigned to assist local agriculture to more easily absorb the reductions. Any year registering below normal or normal would also reset the time frame, allowing a two year buffer before any reduction would be implemented. During the May 6 meeting and in previous discussions, LADWP asked for suggestions and input from the ICWD about the program. ICWD didn’t offer comments specific to the program or any alternatives.

LADWP continues to be open and forthcoming in its operation planning within the Owens Valley and looks forward to a more honest and productive relationship with Inyo County officials in the future. The LADWP Draft Operations Plan is available online at: https://www.ladwp.com/cs/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&dDocName=OPLADWPCCB466808&RevisionSelectionMethod=LatestReleased.

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19 Comments
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Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago

The only way we will slow down DWP is in court.

Bob
Bob
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Or figure out how to make Owen’s River water more expensive than the next cheapest available source

MJA
MJA
6 years ago

I have a suggestion: Shut off the wells! =

Tom
Tom
6 years ago
Reply to  MJA

The water comes from the mountains and the river right? So what are talking about with “shutting off” the wells?.

DESCO
DESCO
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Tom, There are wells all over the valley. Community water districts have wells. City of Bishop and I’m sure the other towns have wells. The res has wells. DWP has wells to measure the depth of the aquifer that their other wells are pumping dry. There are artesian wells that… Read more »

Tom
Tom
6 years ago
Reply to  MJA

Philip Anaya: Perhaps you are correct in some ways. But LADWP owns the land and most of the water rights. The land was legally bought over 100 years ago. Like it or not, that’s just the way it is.

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Tom, the facts are Molhallan and his cronies lied and cheated the entire valley out of their/our water rights. How can you say they legally bought the water rights? By the way, they don’t own all the water rights.

Pedro
Pedro
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble,

Some would say Mullholland was just a smarter thief than the people who stole the land before him. Those water “rights” he stole were taken by force from families that lived, and have lived, here for generations before Columbus. Thieves crying about thieves.

Easy come, easy go.

Bob
Bob
6 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Mullholland did have a vision into the future

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
6 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

This tragic avoidable event rearranged the perception and the vision of William Muholland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Francis_Dam

Pedro
Pedro
6 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Mullhollland was just one cog in the manifest destiny machine. The Feds push under McKinley to colonize the Pacific resulted in haining Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines. The sovereign nation of Hawaii had it”s government overthrown and land claimed by American plantation owners similar, to what happened to local native… Read more »

Bob
Bob
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

water rights were acquired legally with some shady manipulation, some lying, and yes probably some cheating.

What’s the big deal all methods are still being used today

DESCO
DESCO
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob

The word “rape” is frequently used. Harsh word. From what I’ve read consensual sex, reluctant but consensual would better describe it. There was a drought going on, like today. Agricultural land values were declining, like today. A lot of ranchers and farmers were grateful to get anything for their land.… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob and Pedro, tell that to all the locals on the west side of town . The ones who had to dig two hundred ft wells and have a dried creek running thru their yards.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom

T. Although I don’t wish to be harsh, it sounds like you know a lot less about the history and the issues of the LADWP in the Owens Valley than I and I still have much to learn . The one thing that I do know is that there is… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Phillip, I will always value your knowledge and opinions on our DWP issues up here. I fully admit I don’t know all the agreements and judgements we have with them. But I do think that you seem to be able to ingnore the last hundred years of lies and deception… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

There is a need to understand the last 100 years of the History of the DWP here in the Owens Valley. I am especially interested to learn and more clearly understand what has occurred here in the Bishop area, in the Bishop Cone. The current issues of The Chandler Decree,… Read more »

Larry
Larry
6 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

The DWP is a bully they have nearly destroyed a unique ecosystem and there is nothing moral about what they do.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
6 years ago

” What we have here is a failure to communicate” Who had any idea at all that these prophetic words from the movie Cool Hand Luke could reveberate and define each of the 100 years plus of the LADWP in the Eastern Sierra . Lucky me. I saw that movie… Read more »