By Deb Murphy

With a series of March storms that continued to dribble through early April, the “most probable” run-off forecast for the Owens River Basin sits at 73-percent of average; 82-percent for Mono Basin according to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s draft annual operations plan.

Those percentages translate to 219,000 acre-feet of runoff through the April-September irrigation season for the Owens’ basin, 82,700 acre-feet for Mono.

The numbers of interest at today’s Inyo Board of Supervisors’ meeting will be how much LADWP plans on pumping. The range proposed by the department starts at 77,990 and goes to 96,230 acre-feet. The report states the range represents 43 to 53 percent of the “amount allowed under the terms of the Long Term Water Agreement.”

The high end is roughly twice what LADWP has pulled out of the aquifer during the four-year drought.

The report includes figures on the change in depth to water at wells up and down the valley. The impact of the massive spreading last spring ranges from inches to 11-1/2 feet. Only six of the 47 well sites showed a decrease from last April, but 17 are still below baseline.

Inyo’s Water Department is still reviewing the report, but Director Bob Harrington stated in an e-mail the low end of the proposed pumping plan is reasonable but the department at have problems with the high end.


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