By Deb Murphy

Last Thursday’s Technical Group meeting was one of the shortest and least adversarial so far this year as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Inyo County through its Water Department have grappled with Well 385 and the success, or not, of the department’s mitigation efforts at Five Bridges.

The reason for the brevity was simple: both entities agreed to delay those issues, potential subjects of the dispute resolution process, to a future meeting.

Three days prior to the meeting, Inyo County had submitted a lengthy letter to Jim Yannotta, aqueduct manager, and Richard Harasick, senior assistant GM, water, outlining their questions and positions on both the well and the mitigation. “We need time to digest this,” Yannotta said. “We can continue this to a future Tech Group meeting and hope to move toward a resolution.”

The relatively good news was the run-off following a series of storms in March. Mammoth’s snow pack, as of April 1, was 70-percent of normal; Rock Creek, 50. The average for the Owens Valley came in at 66-percent. Just a month ago, the snow pack report put this 2017-18 run-off year at the second worst in history.

The next Tech Group meeting is scheduled for April 25, 1 p.m.

In other water news, the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority’s meeting covered a range of administrative issues including becoming the official Groundwater Sustainability Agency for the Owens Basin, developing a request for qualifications for a plan consultant, bringing on other participants and draft by-laws.

Inyo and Mono counties, the City of Bishop and Tri-Valley Groundwater Management District all have to rescind their GSA applications concurrent with the OVGA applying as the GSA to represent the entire basin. The process requires a public hearing, the OVGA’s will be held at its May 10 meeting.