Sierra Wave Media

Eastern Sierra News for June 25, 2024





Pumping water out of the Owens Valley during a severe drought.

(Updated: Corrected 4/28/20)

With a snow pack at 46-percent of normal, as of April 28, Inyo County and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power begin a month of discussion over the proposed pumping plan for the 2021-22 run-off year.

(As of the April 28, 2021, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Eastern Sierra Current Precipitation Conditions indicate a water content of 10.03 inches, 46-percent of normal.)

LADWP intends to pump from 64,600 to 78,980 acre-feet of water from well fields in the Owens Valley. Inyo’s Water Commission will meet this evening at 6 p.m. for its initial discussion of the plan, laid out with proposed volumes from Laws to Lone Pine. Those comments will be brought to Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting as an 11 a.m. timed item.

The snow pillow measurements and rain fall numbers indicate the northern areas came in at roughly half of normal: Gem pass hit 58-percent of normal to date; Mammoth Pass, 66-percent. The story at Sawmill and Big Pine Creek is grim with 32- and 17-percent, respectively.

The department intends to pump 1,150 to 1,200 acre-feet at Laws, 1,620 acre-feet at Bishop and 1,750 to 1,960 acre-feet from Big Pine. Those figures represent the monthly volume from April to September.

The timeline, once the Inyo Board discusses the plan: by April 30, the County’s comments will be sent to LADWP, May 10, the Tech Group will consider those comments and the May 26 Standing Committee (with representatives from both the County and the City) will discuss the plan but has no role in its approval.