Water Rights Fight in Mammoth Lakes Drags On

For more than two years, a water rights claim by LADWP against Valentine Reserve and Snowcreek has lingered in the bureaucracy of the State Water Resources Control Board. Now, a spokesman there says that the issues will not resolve any time soon.snowcreek.jpeg

DWP had claimed that Valentine Reserve and Snowcreek were illegally diverting water into ponds, water that LA could use in its aqueduct down the line.

Both Valentine and Snowcreek have maintained that DWP's complaint has no basis. The University of California Valentine Reserve lawyers noted that the Reserve has riparian water rights and that water runs through their property and back into Mammoth Creek.

Snowcreek lawyers have also maintained that there is no violation of LA's water rights.

David Cleghern of the State Water Board says there is now an impressive line up of legal firms on both sides of the table and that any decision could set a precedent regarding water storage rights. valentine.jpeg

Local observers note that the amount of water involved in these ponds is so small, why make an issue? DWP attorneys have pointed to their pre-1914 water rights to divert.


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