November 5, 2013 will be the Centennial, the 100 year anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The incredible idea and the engineering feat that has flowed mostly unabated for 99 years, is in stark contrast to the ongoing dysfunctional conflicts that rage on and on between folks in the Owens Valley and the DWP. We seem to know something about hydrodynamics yet hardly a whisper of humanity.
I had a sense to attend the Owens Valley Committee meeting Dec 12 at the White Mountain Research Station . DWP won’t talk to me so……..There was a presentation made, centered around the Long Term Water Agreement. There was a panel discussion with folks who had given a big part of themselves to have helped author and participate in the Agreement formulation process. The difficulties of achieving and the maintenance of the Agreement were addressed and later discussed with everyone in the room. The discussion was mostly about a history and prognosis of failure, of disappointment and yet there is a resolve to venture forth into the future with The DWP. The OVC is not going to disappear.
I have had questions, reactions and thoughts of what I should do as an individual. As much as anyone, I love this place. Always happy to say I live in Bishop. I ‘d sure like to see the next 100 years here. At least I can imagine and hope how everything could be better. I want my oak tree to still be changing colors with the seasons . I like to imagine the snow fall all around us . I’d like to think of everyone, despite being of all different types of individuals, still mostly getting along and still being good neighbors and friends . I’d like to think that DWP as an institution could also become a better neighbor and friend . I might be crazy to think that this could happen but it can and it’s not a bad idea. It’s not nearly as crazy as DWP wanting every drop of water no matter what, no matter what the price.
Everything and everyone needs water. We all can agree to that . As a starting point of renewed trust and and hope for going forward, how about continuing the list of what’s agreeable of the common ideas and ground that we share. How about growing up and being adults ,that being and having the ability to teach our children well. What about a gift to coming generations, lessons and examples of resolution of conflict, avoiding war whether it’s words ,lawyers or however it is waged . It is time for peace in this Valley that matches the beauty and majesty all around us. As a mother gives sustenance to its young so that they grow healthy , strong and sustainable so can Mother Nature via the Aqueduct continue to give sustenance,strength and sustainability to a city and the lives of it’s people, the key word being sustainability. Have we not learned anything of how to address and resolve issues in the past 99 years. What about the next 100 years. It is time for the Technical Group to communicate in a better ways and find solutions , as well as the Standing Committee. If those individuals on those groups cannot or will not advance the process then take a break from what is above your abilities and let someone else have a try. There should be a unified recognition and resolution of all issues and then some kind of celebration of the Centennial of the flowing waters might be possible. Although some may disagree as to the wisdom of the initial idea of the Aqueduct, well, it’s here . Millions of people rely on the water.That however does not mean that the DWP has a million times more right to the water. Rather or in addition the DWP has a correlating million times more responsibility with Mother Nature in mind. There is still time to achieve progress in this first century. DWP took on the responsibility of dealing with Mother Nature in the Owens Valley, 99 years ago. DWP recommitted to that responsibility when they signed the Water Agreement. They need to become steadfast in that responsibility. It should not be up to people outside the DWP to monitor dust from the Owens Lake or any other of the issues that have been raised. All these issues should have been identified by the DWP and they without prodding,without discussion and without legal redress should have taken responsibility and found and made solutions years ago.
Educators at Cal Poly Pomona are working on a vision for the future of the Aqueduct, www.acqueductfutures.
wordpress.com How about some of my DWP rate payer dollars supporting this work. That would be about a commitment to accept and deal responsibly with the results and recommendations of their conclusions . It seems that if DWP and the City of Los Angeles cannot do this then they’ll just continue on the path to suck the Owens Valley dry and with that horrific result, in the next hundred years, then they will have plenty of sand in which to bury their heads.. Thank you for this opportunity to express my opinion, Philip Anaya