Later this month the Mammoth Community Water District Board will meet in closed session on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lawsuits which claim LA owns all of Mammoth’s water rights to Mammoth Creek. Meanwhile, Manager Greg Norby has continued to meet with Bishop area LADWP staff to negotiate a settlement. No luck so far.
Norby said that he has met three times with the Bishop staff over the past month. Norby said the goal is to “seek common ground between our respective settlement principles exchanged in March at a meeting in LA.” Norby said there has been no definitive progress to date.
Norby added that the Water District has continued with an outreach to state representatives and agencies with a role in the issues addressed in the lawsuit. Specifically, Norby said they have met with staff from Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen, Senator Padilla, and Senator Pavley who chairs the Senate Natural Resources Committee. The Water District also contacted senior staff from the Department of Fish and Game’s Director’s office and staff of the State Resources Agency. Manager Norby said that the Water District hopes to gather support from these individuals and agencies to “move LADWP to a more constructive path in resolving their concerns.”
Norby said the LA City attorney directed DWP commissioners and others not to talk with Mammoth because of the litigation. Water District officials did meet with staff from several LA City Council members. So far, no movement by LADWP.
Attorney Barrett McInerney said Mammoth’s Water District shouldn’t expect LADWP to play nice and compromise. McInerney said, “They had better be ready to fight.” He’s the lawyer who beat DWP in the lawsuit to re-water Rush Creek at Mono Lake and who won a DWP challenge against the Hillside Decree, protecting Bishop’s water. McInerney warned Mammoth that those who face off with DWP have to “draw a line and don’t ever go over it.” McInerney warned that LA will end up owning the Mammoth Water District and selling water to the community.