LADWP collects data with pilot study

– Press release from LADWP


Owens Lake Helicopter

Native American LLC helicopter flying the SkyTEM system to obtain geological measurements for LADWP over Owens Lake on July 26, 2015. (Photo by LADWP)

Bishop, CA – Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) hydrologists are utilizing Airborne Electromagnetic Surveying in a pilot study Saturday, July 25, Sunday, July 26 and Monday, July 27 at Owens Lake near Highway 395 to better understand the groundwater basin beneath the lakebed and protect habitat on the surface during the implementation of the Master Project.

The Airborne Electromagnetic Survey consists of state-of-the-art measuring equipment, resembling a webbed oval dangling 100 feet below a helicopter, sending radio signals into the ground then measuring the returned signal to determine the geological materials. The practice is completely nonintrusive to the landscape and provides scientists with a clearer picture than previously-used underground mapping methods. Traditional underground mapping consists of drilling a series of test holes – up to 1,500 feet deep and up to several  miles apart – across the desired area’s surface, taking samples from deep inside the holes and testing them for a “best guess” look at what lies beneath the surface.

“The data gathered from this pilot study will be useful as we work to better model the Owens Lake groundwater as part of the Master Project,” Eastern Sierra Hydrologist and Project Manager Saeed Jorat, Ph.D. said. “By protecting the landscape while gathering this data, we ensure the safety of the habitat and the species residing there in a cost effective manner.”

Data gathered from the study will be used by LADWP to map the location of bedrock, fault lines and groundwater depth. This information will assist the Department as it works to model the Owens Lake Master Project and protect resources that utilize groundwater in the area – private wells, vegetation and habitat – while also preventing potential land subsidence.

If the pilot study goes well, LADWP will utilize the new technique for future projects in the Eastern Sierra region.

Native American Helicopters LLC (NAH) will be conducting the flights using an Astar 350FX2 helicopter. The helicopter will fly parallel to Highway 395 over the North East corner of Owens Lake for a three day period from approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The equipment will be approximately 100 feet above the surface while in flight. During that time, the helicopter will not fly over the Highway, power lines and other structures so as to protect the safety of all involved during the operation.


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10 Responses to LADWP collects data with pilot study

  1. Low-Inyo August 5, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    High Water….After thinking about it,maybe I’m the one that needs the vacation….sorry for the out-of-line post…..really.

  2. High Water August 5, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Low- This is only being used for peaceful purposes, the helicopter is A Native American Helicopters LLC (NAH) will be conducting the flights using an Astar 350FX2. See even the helicopter has a very peaceful, respectful name. no flying over power poles, or highway 395, safety is job #1 flight time 8:00- 4:00
    This procedure is non-intrusive, and being overseen by a Ph.D and Scientists. Since it was a Press Release, you can be sure that this release is unbiased, and absolutely intended,for the well being of the environment, and the local community. I fully support DWP, and low-inyo.

  3. High Water August 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    Slow-inyo- very nice post. It does my heart good to know that what I say means so much to you. I should go away and play with the bears. I Don’t watch TV so I don’t know of said show. But it sounds like a very intelligent way to spend your evenings.

    You most assuredly, are a strong First Amendment supporter! I can tell. Sorry you feel threatened from one person’s crazy fear porn. I’m heading to shortly to book my vacation. Thanks, Low

  4. Low-Inyo August 4, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    High Water ;…Have you ever watched that television show on ,I think,History channel called “Alone” ?..about dropping off people on Vancouver Island by themselves….no one around,not even a film crew….just “alone” to fend for themselves.When I watch that show,I think it might be kinda neet…..for a while…without the regular obsticles we face in life on a daily basis…and maybe take a break from all the people around,especially these Summer Inyo and Mono County visitors and tourists.That is my reasoning for maybe wanting to do something like that….maybe even good for me,getting away for a few days…With you,think maybe it would do you some good too….no Government to deal with….no one around trying to take your guns away….no illegal immigrants…nothing to complain about,except for maybe the bears and wildlife sneaking around your tent at night looking for a meal.

  5. High Water August 3, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    And where is the Great County of Inyo? Those fine leaders, whom we pay to do….what?
    Well, at least we can watch those weekly meetings now, where they can discuss groundwater, and then have lunch!

    Friends were being fleeced! What you see happening in this country right now, where a lie is truth, and truth is a lie. Well our beloved part of the world is not immune, and it’s happening right here, right now.

  6. Daris August 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Yes (Philip) DWP needs to use this technology to map the whole Owens Valley to validate the amount of or lack of groundwater. Yes a third party needs to assess the data to see if the groundwater mining DWP says it is not doing is truthful. This might help our water department understand what is happening with the well problem in West Bishop. (Trouble) I don’t often agree with you but you have this right yes our county officials need to be very involved in any dealing of water issues.

  7. Trouble August 1, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    Where’s our county supervisors , county legal beagles, superior court judges and grand jury when you need them the most?
    Grandpa always said sometimes you have to fight back!

  8. Philip Anaya July 31, 2015 at 5:57 am #

    Not knowing a lick about airborne magnetic survey and attempting to wade through websites like this one
    the thought occurs that the data from this survey needs to be assessed by third party examination of the study . Hopefully DWP will provide that data to the Inyo County Water Department. Hopefully the data would be subject to a public information request. Not only might the aquifers be mapped quite possibly there might be a mapping of the source of the ground waters and this could be a vital bit of information to address and advocate for any limitations /restrictions on extraction from the aquifers below Owens Lake .
    Inyo County needs to assert that any extraction of ground waters in the Owens Valley is subject to the Long Term Water Agreement . I think most folks would agree that pumping from under the Owens Lake is for the benefit of the wetted thirsty in Los Angeles. Los Angeles LADWP as a standard needs to address the issue that this and every operation, every activity from here on out, have little / no environmental impact on the Owens Valley. The Owens Valley will only benefit from LADWP operations when the environment is not compromised, plundered and devastated. This is a new era of global climatic change . Our weather patterns are in transition and merely looking at history alone will not address the future

  9. earl ruran July 30, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    I agree with Steve this nothing more than a ploy to find where the water is plentiful, and can suck more water out of Owens Valley, and ship down South without any immediate negative results that will show. Screw me one that is your fault, screw me twice my fault. Shame on DWP. what other reason would they do this for? That is just my opinion.

  10. Steve July 30, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    So they have sucked it dry on the surface, now DWP is looking for more water to pump form under the ground.

    In 1908 LADWP was granted the head waters of the Owens river. They are violating the intent of that agreement by pumping any ground water in the Owens Valley. They should not be aloud to gather water South of the Owens river delta period.

    This is an in your face water grab by LADWP and everyone should stand up to stop it. Including all the DWP employees that live and raise their family’s here.


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