No compromise with LADWP for MCWD


The MCWD board will meet in closed session May 25th to discuss the LADWP suit.

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.


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9 Responses to No compromise with LADWP for MCWD

  1. kaat May 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Bennett: Two questions for you….

    1. Is the Mammoth Water District going to hire Attorney Barrett McInerney?

    …..He sounds like the right person to hire to go into this new boxing match with LADWP.

    2. Can Austin Beutner (from LA), Founder of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, assist Mammoth Water District and the Mammoth community in this fight?

    ….. It looks like he has ties to Mammoth Mountain and the community of Mammoth Lakes via his involvement with the MMCF. Also, from what I have seen on the internet,
    He served as interim general manager for the L.A. Department of Water and Power. He might have some insights that can benefit the Mammoth community in this tangle?

    ….Just wondering……

    • Benett Kessler May 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      Good point about Beutner. Maybe someone in the Water District should call him for advice and help.

      Barrett McInerney, currently at work as an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency, is not interested in
      representing MCWD. He said he has been burned by some in the Eastern Sierra who have been unwilling to really
      fight LADWP. He named the Mono Lake Committee who he believes has sold out to DWP on restoration of Rush Creek.
      He also recognizes that Inyo officials sold out when they had LADWP on the ropes with their CEQA lawsuit. He
      told me, “The Eastern Sierra doesn’t need a good lawyer. It needs a good client.”

      Benett Kessler

      • Trouble May 17, 2012 at 7:35 am #

        Benett- I’m confused on what Mr. Mclnerney means by” Eastern Sierra needs a good client”.? It’s early and maybe I’m being a little slow today.

        • Benett Kessler May 17, 2012 at 8:42 am #

          He means that most of those who have been involved in a fight with LADWP have caved in, backed down or totally sold out. He means a client willing to fight. He believes that is what it takes. He did have such a client in Stan Matlick in the Hillside Decree fight in Bishop.

    • MJA May 17, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      I don’t think DWP can share the Eastern Sierra water,
      There’s not enough to go around.
      And sadly the biggest dog usually wins.


  2. Bill May 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Time to stop rolling over to the behemoth bullies that are the LADWP. Put on the gloves MCWD and sack up!!

    LADWP does not deserve to own ALL the water in the Eastern Sierra. If we don’t fight off the buzzards now it will only get worse for the next generation. There will be no wetlands, no springs, no wildlife habitat and no more wildlife. Hunting, fishing, birding, and overall enjoyment of our wildlife and heritage will be lost forever into a sea of concrete, asphalt, swimming pools and golf courses in a desert city that has no natural water supply of its own.

    • Ken Warner May 17, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Hi Bill,

      Yes, but think of all the rich real estate brokers and developers and new jobs for new people. And all the tourists that will come up here to experience exactly what they have down home.

      I thought you wanted that kind of thing to happen?

      Or are you concerned that MCWD will loose the water necessary to support development in Mammoth so that the real estate brokers and developers in Mammoth won’t be able to exploit our little community to the degree they have up to now?

      BTW: still waiting for your analysis of the towns budget to show that money spent on tourism and marketing is paying off.

  3. Phil Jordan May 17, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Questions from a forlorn Nevada observer…
    Isn’t the suit against MCWD more like a hybrid SLAPP suit as LADWP knows Mammoth has a critical financial situation?

    Couldn’t Inyo and MCWD pursue LADWP for environmental degradation since both parties relied on prior LADWP commitments(to reduce consumption and restore damaged land)?

    It appears that just as the Eastern Sierra is starting to heal from years if LADWP taking, LADWP decides Eastern Sierra stopped watching, and may now resume their previous destructive water extraction methods.

  4. salblaster May 18, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    wow,what a mess. I was thinking this was a simple case of who originaly owned the water rights would have the say on where the water goes but after reading dwp’s lawsuit and all the different government agencies and enviromental acts that are gonna play a part, its gonna take a herd of lawyers and piles of money to sort this out.


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