The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power continues to operate water diversions under an order from the State Water Control Board. Sixteen years ago, the State said DWP must curtail diversion of water form the Mono Basin until the lake level returns to 6,391 feet. It’s not there yet, and every couple of years the State reviews how things are going. That review comes to Lee Vining in a public meeting next week.
Mono Lake Committee Director Geoff McQuilkin said the meeting and discussion will be about how to shape the pattern of how water goes down streams mandated to be restored – Rush Creek and Lee Vining Creek. McQuilkin explained that the facilities used to get water into the streams are part of the aqueduct system and not totally adequate for the job.
Scientists have prepared a report on what should happen to meet restoration goals for the streams, and DWP has responded. LA officials expressed concern about the feasibility of modifying their facilities and of meeting stream flow requirements spelled out in the scientific look at the basin.
Scientists and the Mono Lake Committee see the need for LA to modify its aqueduct facilities, but DWP seems to want to put that off to some time in the future. That’s the main question for next week’s discussion.
A field trip will start next Tuesday morning at 7am at the Forest Service Visitors Center with a public workshop at 10 am at the Community Presbyterian Church at the corner of Mono Lake Ave. and Third St. in Lee Vining.