Inyo-LA: Land Releases, Water Thoughts

On the 15th floor of DWP headquarters, Inyo and Los Angeles officials sat down to talk briefly about land and water.

11 years after both sides signed the Long Term Water Agreement as a settlement to Inyos groundwater pumping suit, Los Angeles has processed land releases. According to Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio, the first phase of property releases are expected to go to auction in April.

The LA City Council passed on the land and in 30 days, the acres should be ready for sale. This means private buyers will bid on the land and presumably develop it in some way. Land is designated around all Inyo towns. The total release equals about 75 acres.

On the water side of talk, officials did confirm that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will come to the Lower Owens River flushing flows for a photo op. No exact date is yet set. Officials did say the high river flows are expected around February 14th.

In other matters, the officials okayed the Black rock water fowl habitat plan, recommended that the Ad Hoc committee on Hines Spring continue with its work, and discussed Los Angeles water supply issues. The snowpack looks better this year than last although the level has still not reached the long term average.

Los Angeles has not voiced the desire to take more Eastern Sierra water. Instead, the Mayor and DWP have hit hard on water conservation. This, in the face of the Metropolitan Water Districts warning of water cutbacks to big city customers like Los Angeles.

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