MCWD says Casa Diablo Plans could hurt Mammoth water supply

Mammoth Creek provides  a major part of the community's water supply.

Mammoth Creek provides a major part of the community’s water supply.

Mammoth Community Water District officials say that the proposed Casa Diablo Geothermal plant expansion could harm both groundwater and surface water resources used to serve the community of Mammoth Lakes.

Casa Diablo Geothermal officials have gone through the environmental investigation of their expansion plans and Mammoth’s Water District has responded. In a press release, the Water District says the geothermal expansion project proposes the development of 16 production and reinjection wells along with a “significant increase in geothermal fluid pumping.” The release also says that several of the proposed new wells are within two miles of the District’s groundwater production wells.

Mammoth Water officials hired two specialists to help in the review of Casa Diablo’s plans. District officials say that pumping or well reinjection could decrease aquifer recharge or alter water quality in the aquifers. There are also concerns about increased pumping by Casa Diablo decreasing flows in Mammoth Creek.

The supply of water to Mammoth comes from both surface water, recycled water and groundwater. According to Mammoth officials, the Draft Environmental Document on Casa Diablo’s proposed geothermal expansion project says there are no significant impacts to the Water District’s operations. According to the District press release, the Casa Diablo document “does not provide sufficient information to support these conclusions.” The Water District’s specialists identified “significant information gaps.”

More information is available on the Mammoth Community Water District website at www.mcwd.dst.ca.us.

 

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10 Responses to MCWD says Casa Diablo Plans could hurt Mammoth water supply

  1. Desert Tortoise February 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    The Coso Geothermal field depleted the aquifer in the Coso Basin. To keep the plant running they had to find a new source of water. The initial proposal to tap the aquifer in Rose Valley was nixed by the Inyo County BOS because it was feard Little Lakes would dry up as a result. In the end they bought water from a farm in the Owens Valley owned I believe by the Indian Wells Valley Water District, which has some water rights in the lower Owens Valley.

     
  2. Drill Baby Drill February 26, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    Fracking comes to Mammoth.

     
    • Jeremiah's stance February 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

      Miss me with your misinformed conservative stance Drill Baby Drill!
      The plant out in Coso has implemented the cheapest way to conserve the power plant. Of course by pumping more Owens Valley water to suit there needs. Too bad the pumping influence is not gonna be able to hold up, so later in the year when it is revisited hopefully it is shut down! We can’t keep pumping water and thinking it is gonna be the answer, and what gets me is the speculation of how much water the Indian wells gets from the Owens Valley, So what we pump here must have its effects down stream. I mean the Indian Wells Valley Aquifers are dropping at a continuous rate for the last 50 years. (Around a foot and half a year).
      I am also concerned about the Coso hot springs and the cultural traditional use of it being sustained, with all the operations out at there with the plant it is definitely questionable.
      What is it gonna take to tell people we can’t keep having our way with precious resources and habitats only to keep the convenient lifestyle we all take part in. Again to me that is pretty selfish to not acknowledge, or not do something about since we are only kicking the can down the road to our kids and grand kids to deal with!

       
      • Drill Baby Drill February 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

        Jeremiah, it was satire. Fracking pollutes ground water and pumping geothermal fluid down in the ground just two miles from Mammoth’s ground water supply does not seem like a good idea to me without a lot more scientific study.

        “In a press release, the Water District says the geothermal expansion project proposes the development of 16 production and reinjection wells along with a “significant increase in geothermal fluid pumping.” The release also says that several of the proposed new wells are within two miles of the District’s groundwater production wells.”

         
        • Jeremiah's stance February 27, 2013 at 10:21 am #

          I see, It’s hard to read satire and/or sarcasm in text. It’s something I don’t take lightly and the fact we all can go home to our comfy beds and our comfort zones with the ability to forget about all that is wrong with the world the urgency fades away. . .
          We are in a bad place if we let them continue to have their way with the water and if we continue to use water the way we all use it. Maybe not now, but come on, why push the envelope?

           
  3. Mark February 26, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Desert Tortoise – The Coso Geothermal plant ran a pipe to the Rose Valley and dug a well I’m pretty sure you are incorrect and they are infact pumping water from the Rose Valley aquifer.

    Inyo County BOS sacrificed the Rose Valley aquifier for the tax revenue generated by the Coso Geothermal plant. As I do believe the Coso Geothermal plant is the largest tax revenue in Inyo County.

    Correct me if I’m wrong Benett.

     
    • Benett Kessler February 26, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Not sure. LADWP contributes a big tax payment. Coso does too, but they are in a perpetual appeal on the amount.
      BK

       
    • Desert Tortoise February 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      IWVWD claims they sell the plant water from a farm they own in the Owens Valley at a rate that they claim is not going to deplete the aquifer they draw from. At least that is what I read in the press down there.

      As for IWV aquifer getting any water from Rose Valley. No. There are some crazy claims out there, even one that Kern River water somehow infiltrates the IWV aquifer, but the claims are not backed by any good science. IWV is indeed in overdraft and they know it. The district has been successful getting some of the valley’s alfalfa farmers to convert to pistachios.

       
  4. Mark February 27, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    “significant increase in geothermal fluid pumping.”

    What is the fluid exactly? Is it just water?

     

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