As Mammoth Community Water District gears up to spend money on a fight with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for all of its surface water rights, officials have begun to look at LADWP’s water supply and demand. They found that by comparison to LA’s supply, Mammoth’s sum of water hardly seems worth a fight.
LADWP apparently disagrees. They have filed two lawsuits against Mammoth’s Water District – one challenges the rights to Mammoth Creek and the other attacks Mammoth’s Urban Water Manage Plan. Mammoth Water District’s General Manager Greg Norby looked at LA’s Urban Water Management Plan and found figures that show a surplus for LA, even under dry year conditions.
Norby said, “Their surplus supply is between 120 and 360 times larger than the Mammoth community’s maximum annual use of Mammoth Creek supply, which is 2,760 acre feet.” LADWP’s water supply surplus, Norby said, is forecast at between 370,000 and 1 million acre feet under dry year conditions.
Put in other terms, figures in LA’s water plan show a surplus water supply, meaning water available in excess of demands, of 32% in multiple dry years and up to 81% surplus in average water year conditions. So, with this much margin, why pick on Mammoth? LADWP says they don’t comment on pending suits.
MCWD Manager Norby also points out that LADWP’s Water Plan calls for recycled water that will make up about 1% of the City’s water supply. In 20 years, recycled will account for 4%. By contrast, Mammoth Lakes will meet 15% of its water supply with recycled water.
Settlement talks will take place March 28th in Los Angeles. LADWP refused to put its suits on hold during negotiations.