Submitted by Daniel Pritchett, Bishop
A most remarkable press release!
On January 12, DWP issued a press release.
What DWP wrote: DWP announced it had modified wells “W385” and “W386” in the Five Bridges area, changed their names to “385R” and “386R”, and would conduct an analysis of environmental impacts of the wells under the California Environmental Quality Act prior to their “activation.”
What DWP omitted: The Inyo-LA Standing Committee agreed in 1999 that these two wells would be “permanently shut down” as part of a mitigation plan for the devastation they had caused.
Apparently DWP believes changing the names of the wells means it is no longer bound by its agreement that the wells will be “permanently shut down.”
If DWP pumps a single drop from these wells, I suggest Inyo County immediately re-name Owens River, “OwensR” River, and Bishop Creek, “BishopR” Creek.
Using DWP’s own logic, all DWP’s water rights would be null and void and could be claimed by the historic senior water rights holders: the Owens Valley Paiute.
What DWP wrote: “The mitigation measure [for the devastation caused by the two wells] required Inyo County and LADWP to jointly develop and implement a revegetation plan for 300 acres identified in the report. This mitigation effort is ongoing.”
What DWP omitted: DWP hasn’t adhered to the mitigation plan. As a result, a population of the State Listed rare plant Sidalcea covillei (Owens Valley Checkerbloom) has been extirpated, as documented by the Inyo County Water Department.
What DWP wrote: Jim Yannotta stated the pumps would be used, in part, to provide “water for export to Los Angeles.” (italics added)
What DWP omitted: For years the DWP party line has been that DWP doesn’t export groundwater, notwithstanding some pumps which pump straight into the Aqueduct. In fact, in 2003 DWP spokesman Chris Plakos asserted, “no groundwater has been ‘exported’ from the valley for about the last 15 years.”
DWP is unlikely to ever again admit the truth that it exports groundwater, so this press release is historic. Please commemorate the occasion by contacting your Inyo County Supervisor and telling him the county should not agree to the pumping of a single drop from wells that have been “permanently shut down” (regardless of what they are named).