Letter: ‘Lack of transparency’ from LADWP

Submitted by Randy Keller

Dear Editor:

I sat through (most) of the Inyo Supes water conservation meeting on Tuesday. It is great to see the Board bringing parties together to try to work out a fair resolution to the obvious effects of the drought. It was discouraging to witness a certain lack of transparency from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Crowley Lake File photo

Crowley Lake
File photo

To be fair, DWP has shown some real restraint in its proposed exports from our area. In times past, a drought meant DWP increased its pumping to keep the aqueduct full despite reduced runoff, at great cost to the valley. However, DWP is its same opaque self when it comes to discussing how its large reservoirs of water could be use to help irrigation in the valley.

We hear about L.A.’s marvelous record of conserving water in the city, and we hear about the obvious lack of runoff from the mountains. But the only explanation for why ten thousand acre feet of water from Crowley could not be used to help the situation downstream is that DWP must protect fishing access in the lake and preserve an emergency supply of water for Los Angeles.

At the same time, water in the Haiwee reservoir is so abundant that DWP will be able to export water from it during irrigation season and beyond. Haiwee is downstream of where it could be helpful in the valley. But the fact that water in Haiwee is abundant while water in Crowley is scarce reflects a choice by DWP to store water in Haiwee rather than in Crowley (or Pleasant Valley). If DWP had stored the water in Crowley it would be available for irrigation or for export, leaving our options open.

DWP avoided discussion of how much water could be repatriated from Crowley to aid those in need downstream. There was no discussion of whether the water in Haiwee could be preserved as an emergency water supply for Los Angeles and thus free up water from Crowley or Pleasant Valley for irrigation in the current emergency. I agree that all users of water will have to take a hit because of the drought. But it would be nice to see DWP put all of its card on the table for the best solution.

Randy Keller



6 Responses to Letter: ‘Lack of transparency’ from LADWP

  1. Philip Anaya May 7, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Excellent ideas Mr. Keller to help DWP with their Operation plans . Reserving water in Crowley makes great sense as does maintaining Grant Lake at an adequate level. Another idea of management could be that reservoirs are maintained at a minimum required level . Once the level of a reservoir goes down to that level then no more water can be withdrawn . In other words what goes in can then come out and everyone makes do with that amount of water but no more than what comes in. Of course in a severe drought period extending for more than 4-5 years there will always be the need for water but there has to be an established drop dead level that can not be exceeded always leaving a reserve for not just one year’s needs, but maybe two or more and we should have strict water conservation and rationing until that time that the reservoirs are fully recover.
    It seems that there has been extra ordinary aseasonal runoff this past winter . At an average of 40 cfs measured below plant 6 on Bishop Creek since February 2015 that’s about 2,380 AF per month with much of that being stored in North and South Haiwee. Today there is 102,075 AF in Crowley , 6,501 AF in N.Haiwee and 26,294 AF in S Haiwee. The LA Aqueduct in the twin tubes from S Haiwee undulate in elevation and are able to flow up and down hill due to the syphon effect . Syphons need to be full of water to operate and that might be one reason the reservoirs are full the other being that if the water is in Haiwee , then the DWP has the excuse to say that there is no more water to share in the Owens Valley

  2. allen May 7, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

    well what do you know, a storm, with more on the way. LIES LIES AND MORE LIES.

  3. Jeremiah Joseph May 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    Excuse me while I weigh in;
    We should all do what we can to help this situation and be more proactive about limiting the vulnerabilities we tend to reinforce.
    This distribution of the drought burden is extremely reckless when the solutions are in our backyard! #GlobalProblemsWithLocalSolutions

  4. High Water May 8, 2015 at 10:47 am #

    Here is something off topic that I found very important. Please click on link below

  5. Sierra Madre Tattler May 8, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    High Water – If you want DWP info, this is better.

    • High Water May 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

      Sierra Madre Tattler- thank you for the link
      I just recently found your site. Keep up the good work.


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