Insane water dealings

groundwater-pumpbp-1Albert Einstein reportedly once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Under that definition, Inyo officials fit the insanity category when it comes to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s annual pumping plan.

Under the Long Term Water Agreement, LA comes up with a plan evert April to pump the Owens Valley underground.  Inyo can raise concerns and LA pretty much ignores them.  Under an agreement that many citizens warned would leave Inyo defenseless, LADWP virtually controls groundwater pumping.  This year, LA has proposed not just a pumping limit but a wide range of pumping they might do.  Their proposal has left Inyo nervous.  LA says they will pump from 61,900 acre feet to 88,000.

Inyo Water Director Bob Harrington objected to DWP’s plan. After a Technical Group meeting of both sides, Harrington said, “LA gave no indication that they would change their pumping plan.”  This week, Inyo Supervisor Susan Cash told Harrington that he displayed incredible patience in the face of DWP’s circular arguments.

Meanwhile, Harrington said there are two disputes on the table with DWP.  LA has objected to how much water it uses on enhancement/ mitigation projects.  Inyo is waiting for more information.  The other issue is the area known as Black Rock 94.  Harrington told the Supervisors that he is “pushing to get that on a schedule for resolution.”  Harrington said that over a year ago the Water Department determined a significant change in the vegetation at Black Rock because of LADWP’s groundwater and surface water practices. LA disagrees.  Harrington said LADWP pointed to the Inyo Complex Fire as the reason for vegetation destruction.

Harrington said Inyo gave DWP a report 16 months ago about Black Rock.  He said that vegetation conditions at Black Rock have been below baseline most years, and he said over time the type of vegetation has become more and more shrubs instead of grass.  This pattern violates the Water Agreement.

Harrington added that because Judge Lee Cooper sanctioned LADWP in 2005 and 2006 and because of an Interim Management Plan from 2007 to 2009, the vegetation conditions are not, as Harington said, “a wholesale picture of bad.”  He said Laws and Black Rock, however, are two particularly damaged spots.  So far, LADWP has not revealed willingness to improve these environmentally harmed areas, and Inyo has not filed a formal dispute.

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Terry
Terry
10 years ago

To all those who might still think DWP operates in the best interests of the valley’s residents: It is well documented in several books about the unlawful and unethical methods used to acquire the position DWP has in the Owens Valley. If you think they are here to voluntarily act… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Terry

Amen Terry, back in the day … current BOS don’t seem to want very hard to change things, but that is my opinion based on what I see. The silver bullet is out there, they just need to get it in place, and have the where with all to lock… Read more »

Bill
Bill
10 years ago

Reg, you should read Cadillac Desert, by Mark Reisner if you think LADWP are saints.

Just the facts, you should be worried, there may not be water police, but they are going to screw us out of OUR water if they get the chance.

Rob
Rob
10 years ago
Reply to  Bill

If you read Cadillac Desert then you should know it’s their water.

great book!

Bill
Bill
10 years ago
Reply to  Rob

And if you read the book, Rob, you would know the underhanded, unethical, and dishonest ways they came by owning our water. And they don’t own ALL the water in the valley – the courts will prove this, like they have before. We just need our elected officials to grow… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
10 years ago
Reply to  Bill

I seldom worry about anything, Bill. If I want to whinte and worry and stew and fuss and freak-out about everything under the sun (especially in today’s political arena) I’ll start listening to Rush Limbaugh or join the Tea Party movement. How could anybody possibly enforce a “Sorry, but you… Read more »

Just the facts
Just the facts
10 years ago

I really don’t think we have to worry about any water police patrolling our neighborhoods anytime soon being so close to the water’s source.

Just the facts
Just the facts
10 years ago

I simply cannot wrap my head around the image of the LADWP’s water police coming to my Mammoth Lakes door trying to enforce a one-shower per week law. Or having my water shut off every other day.

Reg Reagan
Reg Reagan
10 years ago

Where’s the actual news in this story? It kind of feels more like a motivated opinion. At a time like this, facts are most important. Cut out the opinion.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Reg Reagan

Dear Reagan, Too bad you can’t recognize facts when you read them. It’s a logical conclusion that Inyo officials engaged in an agreement which gives them little to no authority to control DWP’s pumps. Year after year they go through the same dance with mostly the same disappointing results. You… Read more »

Reg Reagan
Reg Reagan
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I’m not arguing for or against DWP nor am I denying any facts in this story. I just don’t see how any of this is “news” is actually new. I don’t see anything in this particular story worthy of actually being published. There is nothing in this story that we… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Reg Reagan

Dear Reg,

Point out what you consider opinion in the story.
Sounds like you are the one with opinions.

Benett Kessler

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

“Albert Einstein reportedly once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Under that definition, Inyo officials fit the insanity category when it comes to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s annual pumping plan.” I think this is… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Reporting is a creative art based on truth. Truth and fact – year after year after year after year LADWP sets the pumping plan and does pretty much whatever else it wants in the Valley. Inyo objects. LA will not change. To me that fits Einstein’s theory of insanity. This… Read more »

Reg Reagan
Reg Reagan
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

“Inyo can raise concerns and LA pretty much ignores them.”
“Their proposal has left Inyo nervous.”

These are both opinions that portray negativity towards DWP, demonstrating your bias.

These types of opinions are commonplace in most of your stories regarding DWP.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Reg Reagan

These are not opinions. Fact – DWP has the power to set the pumping plan each year. Fact – Inyo frequently expresses concerns. Fact – LA does not change their plan to reduce their desired level of pumping. Fact – Inyo has done nothing about it. Fact – the Water… Read more »

Reg Reagan
Reg Reagan
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Here’s a great demonstration of how your opinion negatively impacts your news: The focus and even the title of this story is purely motivated by your opinion. Consequently, you fail to convey the significance of the event which ultimately diminishes value of the story. http://sierrawave.net/3959/airport-ritual-minus-dwps-general-manager/ Now if a person was… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Reg Reagan

Dear Reg, The story link you included was about a completely different issue. An airport lease (which DWP held hostage for decades using it to literally extort more water out of the Owens Valley before they would grant the lease ) is a different matter from chronic over-pumping of the… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

LOL OK so the facts … metaphorically speaking?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Einstein’s quote is an analogy to the ongoing situation in the Owens Valley. The Supervisors seem to think that every time they object to DWP’s position, they will get action. Never happens. Thanks, Big Al.
Benett

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

hehe .. well you’re right there about them thinking they can change things .. especially when they don’t force the issue more aggressively, but then they don’t have the big guns on their hips like DWP does. But then .. they could find a silver bullet to drive things home… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

But on a side note .. have you noticed how much water is going south right now .. for a moderate year’s accumulation?

All of the drains and the river are pretty full. Might be able to be justify ground water pumping?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

The facts on this year’s run-off: April through September run-off calculated by LADWP – 48% in Mono, 56% in Inyo.

BK

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
10 years ago
Reply to  Reg Reagan

Reg, I just don’t see the story as opinion like you do. The story describes the actual, historical interactions between Inyo County and LADWP. Why is that opinion? Nothing seems to be fabricated except the opening paragraph which is an apt description of the interactions between Inyo County and LADWP.… Read more »

Joe
Joe
10 years ago

Why does LA have grass and irrigate when they have to take water from hundreds of miles away? We should forcefully stop the LADWP from taking our water and then see who buckles when their town is running out of water. I do not care if there is some legal… Read more »

Daris
Daris
10 years ago

Not just Ms Cash but all of the Inyo Supervisors need to make LADWP live by the Long Term Water Agreement both parties signed. You can scratch LA’s back all you want but it will still turn around and bite you in the a.. Supervisors wake up!!

Trouble
Trouble
10 years ago

If Susan Cash wants my vote this year, she needs to start showing she is willing to fight DWP.

Longtime Local
Longtime Local
10 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

If I recall correctly, Susan Cash has campaigned in the past on how she would fight DWP and be all tough with them. Doesn’t seem she has kept that promise, unfortunately.

Big Rick O'Brien
Big Rick O'Brien
10 years ago
Reply to  Longtime Local

When has any politician EVER kept a campaign promise ?

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Longtime Local

Well that seems to be the way they do it .. not only locally, but everywhere … say they are going to do things, make promises .. then they seem to forget those promises and such.