LADWP takes public concern, reclassifies two wells

LADWP press release

BISHOP – Community concern surrounding the proposed testing of two recently modified wells in the Five Bridges area north of Bishop, have prompted the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to re-evaluate and treat wells W385 and W386 (now numbered as 385R and 386R) as “new wells” as defined by the Inyo/LA Water Agreement and described in the Green Book.

DWP LA Aqueduct Manager James Yannotta

DWP LA Aqueduct Manager James Yannotta

The new classification means that LADWP will perform a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study on the project to analyze whether operation will have significant environmental impacts and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

“Performing a CEQA study for wells 385R and 386R is appropriate to better avoid potential significant environmental impacts,” James Yannotta, Manager of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, said. “With the activation of these wells we hope to provide water for local environmental and irrigation efforts, and provide a reliable source of water for export to Los Angeles.”

The old wells W385 and W386 were operated in the late 1980s with the intention of both dewatering gravel pits in the Five Bridges area and providing water for Los Angeles. Both wells were screened to the shallow and deep aquifer and, when operated, impacted vegetation in the Five Bridges area.

Consequently, the 1991 Environmental Impact Report (EIR) identified both wells as contributing to a significant impact to vegetation in the area and prescribed development of a mitigation measure to remediate the impact. The mitigation measure required Inyo County and LADWP to jointly develop and implement a revegetation plan for 300 acres identified in the report. This mitigation effort is ongoing.

Recently, both wells 385R and 386R were modified and screened to pump only from a deep aquifer, and will pump at a rate of less than 25 percent of their original capacity. LADWP anticipates that pumping from the deep aquifer, and at a dramatically lower rate, will protect groundwater dependent vegetation from any impacts associated with pumping.

LADWP planned to conduct a thorough test to confirm this prior to putting the wells into operation. However, significant opposition to the renewed operation of these wells has been received by Inyo County and LADWP. After reviewing these concerns, LADWP agrees that further study of the area will alleviate concerns and is now reclassifying wells 385R and 386R as new wells.

LADWP thanks the community for their input during this process. The Department will adhere to the new well provisions outlined in the Inyo/LA Water Agreement in activating these and all new wells.

The goal of the Inyo/LA Water Agreement is to provide a reliable source of water for the City of Los Angeles as well as the protection of the Owens Valley environment. During a normal hydrologic year nearly one-third of Los Angeles’ water supply is supplied from the Los Angeles Aqueduct.


A large presence in the Eastern Sierra region, LADWP owns 315,000 acres in Inyo and Mono Counties and keeps nearly 75 percent of these lands open to the public for recreation. LADWP has been present in the Owens Valley for over a century and is a valuable partner in the Owens Valley community.

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7 Responses to LADWP takes public concern, reclassifies two wells

  1. Daris January 18, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    Where is this 300 acres of mitigation taking place and is it reversing the damage done by the operation of the 2 wells that were permanently turn off in 1980? Deep or shallow aquifer no matter which it all comes from the surface. I may be wrong but I don’t think water is produced under the ground. It looks like just another smoke and mirror trick to deplete Owens Valley ground water.

  2. MJA January 13, 2016 at 7:14 am #

    Surely any and all ground water pumping for exportation to LA has a negative impact on the Owens Valley.

  3. Warpaint January 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

    Environmental Impact Reports. What a joke. Every DWP well in the valley is an environmental disaster. Remember DWP cares about public opinion, and the vegetation of the valley, because they said so and it’s in the paper.

    BTW why is the mainstream media avoiding one of the biggest environmental disasters in the world. The methane leak in Porter Ranch?

    Gov. Brown 6 months ago said global warming is our biggest issue. More methane will escape than you want to know, hence the quiet mouths of our independent honest members of the media. Since this isn’t font page news, some of you will think I’m being cynical. If so do some research and find out.

    The hypocrisy eventually will surface and hopefully more and more folks will realize that local,state, federal govts. are playing us like fools.

    The Bundy boys in Oregon are proving that by telling us BLM is an illegal entity with zero jurisdiction. Which is in fact TRUE! The county Sheriff in Oregon has no clue what his job responsibilities are.
    Two ranchers convicted of a control burn went to prison, released and then thrown back in by a federal judge. Yet we won’t enforce our immigration laws and have no idea who anyone is, but two ranchers, honest hard working Americans are FORCED to return to prison and pay a 400,000.00 fine payable Jan 1. 2016. Pick and choose which laws to enforce.

    Is it beginning to make sense?

    • Steve January 13, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

      This is a country of laws. You do not change the law by pointing guns. Bundy and all of his crew needs to go directly to jail. Justice will be served in the courts.

      • Warpaint January 13, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

        This is a country of laws, and it’s also a country full of people who have no clue what laws govt. has trampled on.
        Laws work both ways Steve. Ever thought of that?

      • Low-Inyo January 13, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

        Warpaint….yeah !!!…..and just like the right-wingers are saying,with these recent mass-shootings in our Country….all lies and conspiracies…..never really happened !!!….only a way for President Obama to have reason to go into neighborhoods,break down doors,and take everyone’s guns away .making it easier for his “terrorist-buddies” to take over the U.S. before he’s out of office !!!

    • Charles O. Jones January 15, 2016 at 8:47 am #

      Porter Ranch has been regularly reported on for months now. The remainder of your rant is equally flawed and isn’t worthy of a response.


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