DWP’s request to dismiss Mono lawsuit overruled

By Deb Murphy
Mono County hasn’t won the war, but it did win the first battle in its lawsuit against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s decision to withdraw water allotments to its Long Valley area grazing leases.
Last Friday, the Alameda County civil court indicated LADWP’s request to dismiss the suit was overruled. According to Mono County Council Stacey Simon, “there is no written decision. Just one word on the website that says ‘overruled’ next to the docket entry.”
The County’s Writ of Mandate asks that LADWP be required to provide irrigation water to its grazing leases until the analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act has been completed. The department, in turn, asked the Alameda civil court to dismiss the case on the grounds that the existing leases contained the provision that water allotments could be reduced to zero under any circumstances.
The County’s argument against dismissal: the new proposed, waterless leases were outside that provision since it represented a larger action, a shift in water policies by the department.
“The court thought there was enough there to proceed to the hearing on the merits of the case,” Simon stated via e-mail.

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7 Responses to DWP’s request to dismiss Mono lawsuit overruled

  1. Philip Anaya March 6, 2019 at 8:58 am #

    I hope I am still alive in 2042 to see the Non-Adjudicated portions of the Owens Basin achieve sustainability with regards to groundwater extractions. The DWP will play their part in this with the sustainable management of the Adjudicated Non-Adjudicated boundary in the Basin . The best way forward for DWP and the Owens Basin will be either be an agreement regarding that management or the amending the LTWA with Inyo County to voluntarily commit the Adjudicated Portion of the Basin to compliance with the 2042 SGMA sustainability requirement, for many an impossible dream. The worst way forward into Destination 2042 for DWP and the Basin will be to ignore the possibilities and the benefits of a sustainable Owens Basin and to continue the tried, tired and idiotic paths of confrontation and litigation between Los Angeles and the Eastern Sierra.

  2. Tom Bluethumb March 6, 2019 at 7:17 am #

    You’re right John.

    If LADWP left, the Owens and Long Valleys would look like Lancaster/Palmdale.

    Our local “leaders” would sell us and the land out faster than you can say Chinatown.

  3. Tom Tuttle March 5, 2019 at 6:37 am #

    I hope I am still alive when LADWP no longer needs their water from their legally owned land and water rights up in the Owens valley, leaving the area high and dry with no services, tax revenues and local economical financial support. I want to see the area towns and city’s die off and become a ghost town or at least poverty stricken ghettos. Payback for all their whining and complaining and frivolous lawsuits against the hand that has fed them for over a hundred years.

    • John March 5, 2019 at 7:36 pm #

      If LADWP left because they no longer needed the water, the land would be available for development. This area would be a boom town with stores, housing, warehouses, recreation centers, etc. The tax base would be more than sufficient to support this area.

    • Stacy Corless March 6, 2019 at 7:45 am #

      There’s nothing frivolous about protecting a watershed–so far, in cases from Mono Lake to Owens Lake, the courts have agreed, and have compelled LA to restore or to mitigate the environmental damage caused by water export. I still hope that the city will do the right thing in this case, and work with local stakeholders on a water management plan that delivers the water they need while also maintaining wetlands and wildlife habitat and helping to adapt to climate change.

    • sugarmags March 6, 2019 at 8:33 am #

      I won’t deny that LADWP owning a large portion of the Owens Valley hasn’t been beneficial. That benefit, however, came through limiting development. Otherwise the Owens Valley would look like the Central Valley. But, by limiting development, and the areas ability to provide for itself, LADWP took on an obligation to provide certain services.
      I’m thankful for their allowing our wonderful area to stay the pleasant, low population area that it is. But they can’t have their cake and eat it too. We are only dependent on them because of the restrictions their land ownership causes.
      If they ever leave the area and free up the land, there will be a huge economic boom….but our way of life would be ruined.

    • Charles O. Jones March 6, 2019 at 12:28 pm #

      I hope I’m still alive when people like Mr. Tuttle finally come to the realization that owning a piece of land doesn’t include the unrestricted right to whatever you please. There are laws that must be respected and followed by all property owners. I’m not an LADWP hater, but they need to respect and follow the law.


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