Scrambling for water – LADWP at Inyo Supervisors

LADWP Water Operations Director, Martin Adams

LADWP Water Operations Director, Martin Adams

Director of Water Operations for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Martin Adams, had hit the public relations trail recently to sell LA’s latest plan for the Owens Dry Lake. The bottom line – DWP will spend the money to protect bird habitat there if they can quit cleaning up dust on the Owens Dry Lake. He pitched the Supervisors with LA’s wishes. DWP’s plans continued with an historic trend – to pit environmental interests against one another in the hallmark divide and conquer tactic. He said if more water is used on the dry lake, there will be less water for ranchers and others.

It was Inyo Supervisor Rick Pucci who hit on the underlying point when he said there must be “trust on both sides.” He said to Adams, “I trust you, but I don’t know that I trust DWP.” Pucci said, “There has to be a certain truth level.” He said there must also be compromises made to reach commonality.

Supervisor Chair Linda Arcularius told Adams that there has to be a “level of certainty regarding water for ranchers.” She said this would contribute to the level of trust Mr. Pucci spoke about.

Ranchers Scott Kemp, Tom Noland and Mark Lacey did point to the lack of water spread on the Valley floor. They think it’s because LA has to put more water on the dry lake to control dust. What no one said is that the use of water is LADWP’s choice. State and federal law and signed agreements have forced LA to clean up the massive dry lake dust. They choose the method. Water is cheapest.

Nancy Masters of the Owens Valley Committee pointed to the Long Term Water Agreement which says LADWP must continue the water to ranchers as it was in the 1981-82 runoff year. Said Masters, “Why is stock water being affected. We need to make sure the ranching community is receiving water pursuant to the Water Agreement.” In fact, the Supervisors have failed to address that issue. Masters also said that even if LADWP saves water at the Dry Lake, there is no assurance they will leave that water in the Owens Valley for ranchers.

Supervisor Jeff Griffiths pointed out that the Supervisors have no control over the Air Pollution Control District, the State or the courts which have jurisdiction over dust control. Supervisor Mark Tillemans pointed to LA’s land ownership that has fatally damaged the Owens Valley from economic development. Supervisor Matt Kingsley pointed to LADWP possibly side-stepping the Owens Lake Master Plan committee.

Adams promised no economic development. He did say that what will happen to water savings “will be addressed.” Adams will apparently return with a more complete plan in a couple of weeks. We will have more on comments at Tuesday’s meeting on later broadcasts.

, , , ,

13 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Prather, Lone Pine
Mike Prather, Lone Pine
9 years ago

“Hang together or separately,” Ben Franklin sort of said – good advice for people who care deeply about the Deepest Valley. As far a dust goes, no one but the GBUAPCD is authorized to enforce dust control at OL as required by law – not State Lands Commission, Dept. of… Read more »

Anachronism
Anachronism
9 years ago

And, in this case, it is separate. The LA DWP is required to provide water to the leasees per the Long Term Water Agreement at the same level as 1981-82 run off year. DWP has been cutting back that water. Who is paying attention to that? Not the Supes, not… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Anachronism

You’re right, as I said in an earlier post on this subject, they are not stupid or from another planet .. it is all calculated to befuddle, distract, and ignore! They know exactly what they are doing. I hope more people start seeing this.

April Zrelak
April Zrelak
9 years ago

Mike, No organization can “make a deal” with LADWP. You’ve sat in enough meetings to hear them say that water saved from dust mitigation will go to Los Angeles. Previous EM projects are continuously being undermined, short changed and stalled. Why would you believe new promises could be trusted? LADWP… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  April Zrelak

Without slinging the trash like April says, as is the case with DWP, we can fight them at their own game … and make it look good, not a bunch of trash like they seem to do. Yes, they have the where with all to wear down the legal budgets,… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago

Hey Mike, Ben Franklin might have said in regards to this Owens Lake Master Plan Process, “Hang together or get hung separately” The Ranchers of the Owens Valley need immediate support from the Inyo County Water Department. There needs to be an emergency meeting called, of the Standing Committee to… Read more »

Waxlips
Waxlips
9 years ago

Rick, you shouldn’t trust Adams!! Or any other DWP administrator. Nancy hit the nail on the head. DWP are a bunch of snakes. Inyo County sups need to man-up and quit pussy footing around.

Anachronism
Anachronism
9 years ago

It is sad that the ranchers don’t realize how they are being played in this drama. They see the OVC and others that are trying to enforce the Long Term Water Agreement (which requires the DWP to provide water to leases as it was in the 1981-82 run off year)… Read more »

Reality Check
Reality Check
9 years ago

This guy must be on another planet. Typical strong arm tactics by DWP. Mr. Adams, you should open a history book, what you are doing has been tried by so many before you in your position and failed. Guess what? You have already lost many times in court, it’s time… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
9 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

No he is not on another planet .. it is hard calculated “divide and conquer” tactics. Pit one group against the other, or try to make the whole group feel like they (DWP) are trying to offer something good, hoping we will go for it! Trouble is … there are… Read more »

Pat Rowbottom
Pat Rowbottom
9 years ago

And…who asked Adams what measures would be implemented upon LA metropolis locals for water conservation? San Francisco has always had good results With conservation by metering water, raising prices during drought. (Shorter showers, less washing, recycling grey water, no pools, dry landscaping ..suggested measures)

Walker
Walker
9 years ago

I was out for my afternoon walk out by the independence tree field and I notice that only one half of the field was being water. I love taking my walks and enjoy the beautiful green fields full of wild life. However, this year the fields are all dead! The… Read more »

MJA
MJA
9 years ago

The only plan that will restore the health of the Owens Valley is shutting down and drying up the LA aqueduct. Remove the problem and the problem is solved. =