25 years ago, the Department of Water and Power agreed on an Enhancement/ Mitigation project in southern Inyo that ultimately led to adding 30 acre feet of water for a high school farm project. Today, the Van Norman Enhancement/ Mitigation project and the high school farm remain undone.
Brenda Lacey, Agriculture Instructor at Lone Pine High, told the Inyo Supervisors yesterday that sixteen years ago, officials firmed up plans for water for the school farm as part of mitigation for the second aqueduct. Delays continued, and in 2012 the school managed to get a grant for water distribution from a DWP well. Now, the grant is at risk if LA keeps dragging its feet. This item is on the agenda for the Inyo-LA Standing Committee meeting Friday in Independence. (Agenda, below)
Inyo Water Director Bob Harrington said Bishop DWP management didn’t want to add this item to the agenda. Harrington pointed to Standing Committee rules and held firm that the item can go on the agenda. He said LADWP staff were not agreeable to take action involving what’s called the Van Norman mitigation project, which includes the farm water.
Now, the students have seeds ready to plant in April and the grant was extended through April. It’s up to DWP to cooperate. Inyo is ready to handle environmental work on the projects. Supervisor Chairman Rick Pucci said, “This is a commitment LA made. They just need to make it happen. It’s amazing to me,” said Pucci. “We have an agreement. It’s on the record. Get it done so the students can grow. It kind of amazes me.”
Someone noted that the students who started out at the beginning of the project process are “now in the 40s, and it’s still not done.” This is not the only mitigation measure that lingers in LA’s playbook. On the Inyo Water Department website is a list of 55 mitigation measures – supposed to make up for DWP’s extensive groundwater pumping between 1970 and 1990. Many are incomplete.
The Supervisors agreed to direct the two board members on the Standing Committee, Linda Arcularius and Rick Pucci, to call for a critical timeline to get the Van Norman project and farm water going and decide who can get the environmental work done ASAP.
Other items on the Standing Committee agenda include Owens Lake area groundwater development, revisions on the Green Book, mitigation projects water use, Blackrock 94 dispute, and the County’s proclamation of a Local Drought Emergency. The meeting starts at 1pm, Friday in the Supervisors’ Boardroom.
INYO COUNTY/LOS ANGELES
1:00 p.m. February 7, 2014
Board of Supervisors Room County Administrative Center 224 North Edwards Independence, California
The public will be offered the opportunity to comment on each agenda item prior to any action on the item by the Standing Committee or, in the absence of action, prior to the Committee moving to the next item on the agenda. The public will also be offered the opportunity to address the Committee on any matter within the Committee’s jurisdiction prior to adjournment of the meeting.
1. Action Item: Approval of documentation of actions from the August 29, 2013 meeting. 2. Runoff and operations update. 3. Report on Owens Lake-area groundwater development. 4. Report on status of Green Book revisions.
5. Possible Action: Update on the Van Norman E/M project and possible action on modifications to the project.
6. Report on the status of Technical Group evaluation of E/M project water use and water supply. 7. Update on vegetation parcel Blackrock 94. 8. Discussion of Inyo County’s proclamation of a Local Drought Emergency 9. Public Comment.
10. Confirm schedule for future Standing Committee meetings. 11. Adjourn.