Mitigation undone

inyo_courthouse.jpg25 years ago, the Department of Water and Power agreed on an Enhancement/ Mitigation project in southern Inyo that ultimately led to adding 30 acre feet of water for a high school farm project. Today, the Van Norman Enhancement/ Mitigation project and the high school farm remain undone.

Brenda Lacey, Agriculture Instructor at Lone Pine High, told the Inyo Supervisors yesterday that sixteen years ago, officials firmed up plans for water for the school farm as part of mitigation for the second aqueduct. Delays continued, and in 2012 the school managed to get a grant for water distribution from a DWP well. Now, the grant is at risk if LA keeps dragging its feet. This item is on the agenda for the Inyo-LA Standing Committee meeting Friday in Independence. (Agenda, below)

Inyo Water Director Bob Harrington said Bishop DWP management didn’t want to add this item to the agenda. Harrington pointed to Standing Committee rules and held firm that the item can go on the agenda. He said LADWP staff were not agreeable to take action involving what’s called the Van Norman mitigation project, which includes the farm water.

Now, the students have seeds ready to plant in April and the grant was extended through April. It’s up to DWP to cooperate. Inyo is ready to handle environmental work on the projects. Supervisor Chairman Rick Pucci said, “This is a commitment LA made. They just need to make it happen. It’s amazing to me,” said Pucci. “We have an agreement. It’s on the record. Get it done so the students can grow. It kind of amazes me.”

Someone noted that the students who started out at the beginning of the project process are “now in the 40s, and it’s still not done.” This is not the only mitigation measure that lingers in LA’s playbook. On the Inyo Water Department website is a list of 55 mitigation measures – supposed to make up for DWP’s extensive groundwater pumping between 1970 and 1990. Many are incomplete.

The Supervisors agreed to direct the two board members on the Standing Committee, Linda Arcularius and Rick Pucci, to call for a critical timeline to get the Van Norman project and farm water going and decide who can get the environmental work done ASAP.

Other items on the Standing Committee agenda include Owens Lake area groundwater development, revisions on the Green Book, mitigation projects water use, Blackrock 94 dispute, and the County’s proclamation of a Local Drought Emergency. The meeting starts at 1pm, Friday in the Supervisors’ Boardroom.

AGENDA

INYO COUNTY/LOS ANGELES

STANDING COMMITTEE

1:00 p.m. February 7, 2014

Board of Supervisors Room County Administrative Center 224 North Edwards Independence, California

The public will be offered the opportunity to comment on each agenda item prior to any action on the item by the Standing Committee or, in the absence of action, prior to the Committee moving to the next item on the agenda. The public will also be offered the opportunity to address the Committee on any matter within the Committee’s jurisdiction prior to adjournment of the meeting.

1. Action Item: Approval of documentation of actions from the August 29, 2013 meeting. 2. Runoff and operations update. 3. Report on Owens Lake-area groundwater development. 4. Report on status of Green Book revisions.

5. Possible Action: Update on the Van Norman E/M project and possible action on modifications to the project.

6. Report on the status of Technical Group evaluation of E/M project water use and water supply. 7. Update on vegetation parcel Blackrock 94. 8. Discussion of Inyo County’s proclamation of a Local Drought Emergency 9. Public Comment.

10. Confirm schedule for future Standing Committee meetings. 11. Adjourn.

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35 Comments
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Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

The simple truth is that nothing mankind does is sustainable. The population continues to grow. Resources continue to diminish. It doesn’t take an advanced degree to see that eventually there will be more people than resources. The Owens Valley vs. LADWP is nothing compared to what will happen. And people… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

LADWP needs electrolytes.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

LADWP needs to stop screwing us!

sugar magnolia
sugar magnolia
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I like people, individually…but mankind as a whole, not so much…I always say, if there was a button I could push that would instantaneously vaporize mankind (painlessly I hope), I would press it! Nothing personal. I just believe that mankind will take earth down with us as we go, eventually.

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago
Reply to  sugar magnolia

Please don’t push that button. With enough time, the earth has recovered from far greater catastrophes than mankind. It is most likely that we will eliminate our niche in the ecosystem and eliminate ourselves. It is already starting. Let’s not hurry things along please.

Mongo
Mongo
8 years ago

I hope I am nowhere near LA or LADWP on the day when brown water comes out of faucets. Imagine what happened in Inyo, happening in LA. No water for crops (lawns). No water for industry. No water at the homestead. Wake up LADWP and Metro Water District, it is… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Mongo

No, the urban water user has been squeezed hard enough. It is long past time for mandatory drip irrigation for all crops. 80% of the state’s developed fresh water is used by agriculture. A 10% reduction in agriculture water use adds 33.3% more water for urban users. We irrigate crops… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

Have to disagree with this post from DT. The water applied to the Ranchers Lands in the Owens Valley benefits soilwater in the rooting zone and the water table levels in the Aquifer. The Ranchers are the folks that have been squeezed hard enough. The folks in West Bishop with… Read more »

MajorTom
MajorTom
8 years ago
Reply to  Mongo

Instead of micro-managing how people use water, how about we instead put a price on water that reflects its actual value. When someone waters their lawn in LA, it should be as if dimes were flowing out of the hose and piling up on the lawn. The high price should… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

Sigh. The Owens Valley is not the only place LA obtains it’s water. Do you understand that? In fact, LA obtains most of its water from other sources. Water is water, if LA can get more water from the Colorado and Sacramento Rivers by the MWD and California aqueducts respectively,… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  MajorTom

MajorTom, farmers get heavily subsidized water. They pay a small fraction of the cost per acre foot that cities pay for aqueduct water. Good luck getting that changed. The agriculture lobby is strong. Why else do we grow crops like rice and alfalfa in a desert? Farmers will argue that… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago

Hemp would be an appropriate lower water usage crop for alfalfa and cotton. Seeds for animal feed and fiber for textiles and paper.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Gimme a break !!……Had to laugh the other day when I read that someone in Colorado is joining in on the $$$$ flow and trying to convence,and sell a “marijuana hand and body lotion”…..telling people it’a an anti-aging remedy,as well as a cure for skin cancer……I’ll go back to those… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Wayne, give you a break that hemp is an agricultural crop that is not used as a drug? You better brush up on your US and world history for the last few thousand years. Cannabis seed in bird feed has never been illegal in this country. Maybe you’d better spend… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Pedro…The Opium poppy is also an agricultural plant,which is used in the making of heroin…..and the coca plant….that’s used to make cocaine….other than saying that,I’m still trying to figure out your stating cannabis seed is being used in bird feed…..and ?……….

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Wayne, Opium Poppy also provides most of the poppy seeds that we eat and morphine, etc that is used legitimately in medicine. We still use coca in soft drinks. Cannabis is a drought tolerant plant and hemp varieties have little to no drug use, but is used to produce feed,… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

It should be apparent to all that the DWP will do nothing unless ordered to do so by a court of law. Unless the county is prepared to litigate, the city of Los Angeles will feel no need to act.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

Stipulations and sanctions have proven their worth in the shameless behavior of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Management and Operations in their century of deceit and misguided efforts in the Owens Valley to satiate the thirst of Angelenos and their Gardens never to be Eden and the… Read more »

Fibonacci
Fibonacci
8 years ago

Any citizen can sue under CEQA . Mitigation is a part of CEQA. The shocking thing is that most of the mitigation measures are for the 1970-1990 era of pumping, to help offset the destruction of wetlands, springs, grasslands and trees throughout the wellfield areas which are mostly Big PIne… Read more »

Russ Monroe
Russ Monroe
8 years ago
Reply to  Fibonacci

Factual post Fabionacci, however… Although “Any” citizen may sue… and may even get together and file a class action, then what? DW&P has a tower of lawyers working on a limitless budget who will hang up any legal action for decades and if the suits should actually make it to… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Russ Monroe

Read Article 11 of the State Constitution. Where conflicts exist, the laws of charter cities supercede all other state or local laws. It’s know as “home rule”. As a charter city, LA is not obliged to obey any laws other than those it’s own City Council passes, or Federal Laws… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Fibonacci

Fibonacci, I love your work and miss our talks about the housing crisis five years before it happened. Perhaps we will reconvene at this juncture in history where water and predictable natural supply and demand fluctuations occur as evidenced by your number sequence and retracement. Ironical, the pine-cones and flowers… Read more »

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

WOW, I just read the entire list of 55 mitigation projects. First thing that hits hard is the list is in bad need of a update. Looks to be 10 years old. So we really don’t know whats going on or how bad it maybe. It really shows how DWP… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Steve

There is a more updated version of the mitigation list on page 99 of the Inyo County Water Department Annual Report for 2012-2013. It’s on the Water Department website. That’s the list I used for our most recent story posted this morning. It still shows a great deal undone or… Read more »

andy
andy
8 years ago

I do see how anyone would be amazed with the actions of DWP Cartel!

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  andy

“Cartel”? No, they are one of many departments of a charter city. Big difference.

Tinner
Tinner
8 years ago

I’m with you Andy, cartel is a better description.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Tinner

Calling DWP a cartel expresses anger but misses completely the nature of what you are up against. A cartel is a combination of businesses that fix prices. LADWP is nothing like that. Number one, they are not a business. There are no investors or shareholders. They are a department of… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

I think Tinner or Andy meant cartel in the poetic, metaphor sense. Let others express poetically if they want. You are taking it too literally.
Benett Kessler

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
8 years ago

DT, So then can you justify how a city that sits 250 miles away, can have the power to relocate indigenous community’s, and still to this day hold that oppression over the native communities by limiting the economic opportunity that comes with water rights, that’s what we are loosing when… Read more »

Ben Holgate
Ben Holgate
8 years ago

“On the Inyo Water Department website is a list of 55 mitigation measures – supposed to make up for DWP’s extensive groundwater pumping between 1970 and 1990. Many are incomplete” Here is the critical point. While LADWP leadership seeks to enrich the Department through industrial scale solar development in the… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Ben Holgate

DWP is doing what the City Council of LA expects them to do, provide the lowest cost water and power to the residents of LA to meet their needs. The needs and desires of Inyo and Mono counties are not represented in the LA City Council. The members of the… Read more »

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
8 years ago

Yes the LA city council responds to their constituents, So why should we not believe our Inyo county leaders wouldn’t respond to us? and if those that don’t raise awareness with concerns of injustice, then we would all be having a cup of tea with you convincing ourselves its a… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  JeremiahJoseph

One of the primary rules of combat is to know as much as you can about your enemy. Nobody in LADWP or in the LA City Council are elected or paid to listen to anything Inyo or Mono County say. They can come to the meetings and listen politely, but… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  JeremiahJoseph

Ok, but realize that the solution lies in the courts not the county hall of administration, probably the Federal Courts at that because state courts are afraid to go againts big cities. The state courts are purposely being starved of money to operate by legislators, most of whom come from… Read more »