MOU partners meet

The Memorandum of Understanding partners met last Thursday in an effort to re-allocate what little water there is to keep area ranchers’ in business.

DWP

According to Inyo County Water Department Director Bob Harrington, the meeting resulted in a potential 4,000-5,000 acre-feet of water that could be added to the 16,500 acre-feet scheduled for irrigation this summer.

Facing a 66-percent cut in irrigation water and seasonal run-off at 4 percent of normal, water for agricultural use will have to come from cuts to other mandated Los Angeles Department of Water and Power obligations. The partners, Inyo County, LADWP, the Owens Valley Committee, the Sierra Club, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Lands Commission, all have to agree on those cuts.

The additional irrigation water could come from Warren Lake, lower flows to the Owens Lake Delta and lower base flows in the Lower Owens River Project. “I think there was general agreement that these reductions would be feasible with appropriate monitoring,” stated Harrington via e-mail.

The next step: the partners go back to their governing boards for approval then come back together next week “to see which options all groups will agree to,” said LADWP spokesperson Amanda Parsons. “Things are looking positive and, hopefully with the continued emphasis that there isn’t any other water available, we can move forward and get some more allocations for our ranchers,” Parsons added.

Options discussed at the May 7 Standing Committee meeting, water from storage offset by potential savings on Owens Lake dust mitigation later this year, are outside the purview of the MOU partners. The Standing Committee will reconvene in Independence June 4.

 

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2 Responses to MOU partners meet

  1. chris May 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    “Facing a 66-percent cut in irrigation water and seasonal run-off at 4 percent of normal, water for agricultural use will have to come from cuts to other mandated Los Angeles Department of Water and Power obligations.” “The additional irrigation water could come from Warren Lake, lower flows to the Owens Lake Delta and lower base flows in the Lower Owens River Project.”

    Can anyone tell me why cuts to LA water users aren’t being considered, or at least mentioned here? Is delivery of that water not a mandate to LADWP? I’m not being nasty or sarcastic; simply asking for clarification.

    Thank you.

     
  2. Philip Anaya May 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    If I could offer the idea that cuts have been considered and made in Los Angeles and if that would be an accurate statement there is still the issue of the lack of sufficent waters in the Owens Valley mostly due to this 4th year drought. I know that there is storage of water in North and South Haiwee ( 6285 AF and 25,850 AF) some of which might have been held in Crowley as Randy as recently pointed out in his letter to the Sierra Wave.
    A friend in Lone Pine has posted a photo on Facebook of the temporary damming of the LA Aqueduct below the Cartago Spillgate. There is currently zero water going into the Aqueduct from the Owens Valley into the Haiwee Reservoirs. We have been told by the DWP that this will be the case until the close of the irrigation season in November .
    As far as using the water in Crowley Lake take a look at the DWP Real Time Data web pages. All the water in the Mono basin ( a total of 104 cfs) today is going into Mono Lake . There is zero water coming through the Portal into the Upper Owens. Look at the amount coming into Crowley from the Owens River , from Hot Creek and from from McGee and Convict Creeks . Look at the release from Crowley , the flow in the Owens River below Pleasent Valley Reservoir. Look at all the data and the Northern District Daily Reports and know that relief from this drought is as much dependent upon the percipitation we will be receiving as it is with a cooperative efforts and partnership between these MOU parties and all of our own collective efforts.
    The MOU Parties have evolved from being antagonists in the Court Room to where they are today, sitting and cooperatively finding some way to reallocate water for the economic welfare of the Ranchers and the long term benefit to Owens Valley. Thanks to all of them and the Sierra Wave for helping us all watch the water .

     

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