Inyo, LADWP still disagree on when to shut off pumps

groundwater-pumpbp-1More than twenty-two years ago, Inyo County and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power signed a long term agreement that was supposed to end disputes over groundwater pumping. Those disputes continue, and there is still no agreed upon method to control pumps.

The section of that long term agreement that was supposed to manage pumping to avoid damage is ironically called The Green Book. Both Inyo and LA have agreed that this set of rules has failed. For six years, they have debated what to do next. Now, they will get back to talking with a facilitator and more studies.

Inyo Water Director Bob Harrington said the Green Book revision has sat on a back burner while the Water Department has dealt with other issues, like a dispute with LADWP over the Black Rock area and damage done there. Inyo says pumping has killed part of the environment. LADWP denies it.

Last week, the Inyo Supervisors approved a contract with a facilitator, Susan Carpenter, to sit down with both sides to look for answers. Harrington said LA has challenged some of Inyo’s plant data and talks have been more or less stalled. Harrington is confident that Inyo’s data is good. He and his staff are looking at management of pumping based on depth to water. What’s the hang-up to that logical approach?

Harrington said DWP wants to sort out surface water and precipitation from groundwater fluctuations. He said Inyo has never disputed that. Discussions, he said, have “gone around in circles.” In the last couple of years, Harrington said, disputes over Black Rock and DWP’s pumping plans have consumed time and effort.

The Water Director also said that both sides have agreed to use the Ecological Society of America to “assemble a panel of scientists to assist with the Green Book revision process.” More so-called cooperative studies also lie ahead. LADWP, according to the Water Agreement, will pay for the studies and facilitation.

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Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

I am not a big fan of DWP although some here feel I am for some reason, maybe because I defend them in some ways when I see something right to agree with. I have disagreed with Philip at times and Salblaster, and Benett and a couple others, but I… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big Al- well said, I wish your hart ran DWP.

salblaster
salblaster
8 years ago

I don’t think im in denial over groundwater depth, I fully understand the relationship between pumping water and surface vegatation. I would say when it comes to the balance between water for human resource and water for plants I side heavy for humans, and I dont think the pumping going… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

I did not accuse you of denial. I said DWP is in denial. Science has proved it and our souls know it, you can’t separate humans from animals, birds, plants, trees. We’re all part of the picture. The unconsidered fine points between “affecting” and “destroying” are what hurt our environment.… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

Salblaster you have validated my concern. The concern of humans thinking they can continue to have their way with precious resources and habitats at our convenience. It’s not fair to generations after us, because I know in my heart the resources that we take for granted all have a shelf… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

I will agree with you there Jerry. Shelf life!

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

Hey salbalaster,You have made some valid points in your posts. I am for over 6 decades, a San Fernando Valley LA Man and along with all that water I have used and no small thanks to the DWP, I also have Owens River water in my blood and the Owens… Read more »

salblaster
salblaster
8 years ago

Jeremiah, i bet a bacon cheeseburger from barbacue bills I do not nor have i ever worked for dwp. I’m just a local born and raised in the owens valley. I spent a lot of time fishing, hunting, hiking,dirt biking ect.ect. and i just dont see owens valley eroding into… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

salblaster, You’re making the issue too black and white. No one, including me, has ever said get rid of DWP or I wish they had never come. That is not the point. The point is ethical, good neighbor behavior that DWP has not exhibited. This will ultimately hurt their own… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

I guess there is no winning or need to continue to debate when one doesn’t acknowledge facts. So I made the assumption that you work for DWP since the effects are out there for everybody to see and deal with. I was wrong to assume, but I can’t grasp how… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago

How much you want to bet Salblaster works and/or worked for LADWP?
And if my assumption is correct salblaster your views are not applicable, since there is incentive’s for you to not acknowledge the devastation to the habitats and riparian area’s.

salblaster
salblaster
8 years ago

Isn’t the area east of indy covered with a green field and a tree lot developed and irragated by dwp and leased to a local rancher. It does not look “destroyed” to me. And southern Inyo hospital threatens to close every year around this time yet it keeps on going.… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

The tree lot is a small project to the east of Independence. The spring field, about which I speak, is many, many acres to the east of the tree lot and ranch lease. It used to be green, covered with trees and springs. It is now a moonscape. Check it… Read more »

salblaster
salblaster
8 years ago

Again with the ” destuction of the owens valley” comment, do you drink water, take showers, water your lawn, wash your car, are you not also contributing to the “destuction of the owens valley”?. I see it as water is essential for human expansion, why be selfish and keep the… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

I have interviewed people who were here in the sixties when groundwater pumping began. Hundreds of trees died and were hauled off. Some of them to the fireplaces of top DWP officials in LA. The area east of Independence, formerly a spring field, died. Similar areas around other towns died.… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

And somebody was trying to hold you to not blogging on your own website? How else are the rest of us able to be educated on others education if you keep it inside! That is something I have been saying also is, we all like the wide open spaces and… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

There is a century of history of the City of Los Angeles in the Owens Valley and so the waters have been flowing south. The enginnering of the Aqueduct is a technical marvel. The management of the marvel however reveals a ruthless and nonsensible pattern of behavior of the City… Read more »

Outsider
Outsider
8 years ago

“More than sixteen years ago”? Technically, true. 1991 is definitely more than 16 years ago…

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Outsider

You are right. It’s been 22 years, and the two sides did start operating under some of the ideas of the agreement
even before 1991.
Benett