Nervous Over Water

When Inyo and Los Angeles officials meet sometime next month, they will talk about water supplies for Los Angeles and the water situation in the state. laqueduct.jpg

The Inyo-LA Standing Committee is expected to include water supply issues on their next agenda. Chris Plakos, Public information man for DWP here said that the idea of the item is to "let everybody know about the water supply and what's going on with water supply issues in Los Angeles, buying additional water and conservation." LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa resurrected his conservation program, Drought Busters teams of DWP workers will roam the city and advise water wasters of their options.

Asked if Los Angeles were likely to try to get more water from the Eastern Sierra, Plakos said that there is no change planned. He called the purpose of the agenda item to "open lines of communication."

As water supplies tighten statewide, Los Angeles will have less available. Already citizens in Inyo and Mono have begun to fear that the big city will start to push for more of our water to make up lost supplies from such agencies as the Metropolitan Water District.

What protection does Inyo have if DWP claims the need for more water? That's unclear. Inyo and DWP now operate under an Interim Management Plan that sets a pumping rate but also includes a cancellation clause in March of each year.

As for Mammoth Lakes and Mono County, DWP has suggested that Valentine Reserve and Snowcreek homeowners divert water illegally and that remains in a claim process with the State Water Board. DWP has also hinted that they believe Mammoth Community Water District should manage Mammoth Creek with more water in it, but no formal action has been suggested.

Mammoth Community Water District officials are considering year-round water conservation measures that are expected to come up at their next meeting.

And, the Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee, Geoff McQuilkin, said that the Committee remains aware of potential impacts to the Lake during dry years. Asked if he thinks DWP might try to break the State Water Board order to get more water from the Mono Basin at some point, McQuilkin said, "I don't think DWP wants to re-open this."

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