A plea to manage lakes

IFAs wells go dry in West Bishop, one resident, Philip Anaya, has launched an effort to impact the management of the Bishop Creek drainage next summer.

Anaya read a letter to the Inyo Supervisors on Tuesday that he has sent to Department of Water and Power Manager James Yannotta. Anaya’s goal is recovery of South Lake and Lake Sabrina, which both nearly dried up last summer and seriously impacted businesses in that area.

Anaya wrote that the recovery of the lakes is “held by both the Edison Company and DWP.” Anaya said in communications with Supervisor Rick Pucci the idea developed to do something about the lakes and the environmental and economic impacts.

Anaya said he knows that this winter’s snowpack and spring runoff will affect the whole situation, but he hopes that management of the release of waters will also make a difference. Anaya calls for allowing the lakes to fill to the “highest possible elevation and then manage releases with all the needs of the concerned entities considered.”

The letter to DWP Manager Yannotta asks him to take the initiative and reach out to interested parties and to gather ideas and comments on lake management. Anaya wrote, “If there could be a shared successful solution, it might become a template to resolve other issues that we spend so much time confronting each other instead of cooperatively finding solutions.”

Anaya planned to talk about his ideas at the Thursday Bishop Chamber of Commerce Board meeting.


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8 Responses to A plea to manage lakes

  1. Jim Yannotta December 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    The following information is being provided in response to the December 18, 2013 story that appeared in the Sierra Wave news, “A Plea to Manage Lakes:”

    LADWP does not manage South Lake or Lake Sabrina. Southern California Edison (SCE) stores water in these two lakes and the 1922 Court-ordered Chandler Decree prescribes flow requirements for Bishop Creek that must be adhered to by SCE. The Chandler Decree does not provide authority to LADWP to modify provisions of the Decree.

    The last two successive very dry years have greatly limited the amount water flowing from the Eastern Sierra Mountains to South Lake and Lake Sabrina, and in Bishop Creek. We all look forward to a good precipitation year in 2013-2014, but initial reports so far are not favorable.


    Jim Yannotta
    Manager of Aqueduct
    Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

    • Benett Kessler December 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      As in my earlier request, what about the fact that Edison has reported asking DWP in successive years to approve a variance in flows for the health of the lakes, ditches and ponds? Edison officials told us that last year DWP refused two requests for variances.

      Thank you, Benett Kessler

    • Waxlips December 19, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      1922. Don’t you think it’s time for a change in that court ordered decree? 92 years has pass. Things have changed. However, it sounds like you’re passing the buck Jim.

  2. BobK December 18, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    Bennett: Good luck getting a reply. That question has been asked many times…No answer.

  3. Philip Anaya December 18, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Mr .Yannotta,
    A snow pack of 120% of normal might help with the recovery of South and Sabrina Lakes and I never would give up hope for that . The Chandler Decree does not intend, mandate or require emptied Lakes . With all the environmental and economic impacts from this past year management I ask you to seek comments and concerns from the responsible and interested Agencies,Governments and Groups and seek a cooperative solution to those impacts. No one is going to complain or litigate with the DWP when you seek to remedy the current conditon of the Bishop Creek Drainage System. I trust that the DWP has the ability and the expertise to recover the Lakes, get water back into the ditch system and into the Aquifer. Thank you for your comments and please let the Community know of what we all can do to assist getting water back into South and Sabrina Lakes this coming year.

  4. Daris December 19, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    At a LA Inyo Co. Technical meeting the empty lakes and the Chandler Decree were discussed. I asked about past practices of allowing a variance on the Bishop Creek Drainage Mr. Yannotta said the DWP could not ignore the Chandler Decree they (DWP) had to take the amount of water allotted in the Chandler Decree. I wonder why DWP has to abide by the Chandler Decree but not the Long Term Water Agreement? It seems they just pick and choose what ever will benifit LADWP and hell and be damn to anything else.

  5. Philip Anaya December 20, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Mr Yannotta ,
    I am finding support in the Community for recovery efforts of South and Sabrina Lakes. I am certain that you will be receiving communications from the Community. With great respect I provide you here, what I think might be at the very least an acceptable response to this initiative:
    “We at the LADWP share with the Community of Bishop it’s concerns for the environmental and economic impacts resulting form the 2 year drought, the Edison and LADWP operations. Our operations have demands and constraints, but please be assured that we will consider adaptive management solutions submitted by Our Partners of the stewardship of the water resources and will take the steps to diminish the impacts to the Community this coming runoff season.”
    Any other response Mr. Yannotta, such as “We do not manage the Lakes” “The Chandler Decree requires us to take the water and we can’t say no,” That is the path well worn to confrontation and processes that lead to binding arbitration and adjudication as you well know. Your predecessors have left you and the DWP with a pile of problems not easily solved. You have an extremely difficult task to repair all that damage and manage the Aqueduct at the same time. Ms. Lauren Bon, Metabolic Studios, people with reasonable attitudes to your difficulties are looking for enlightened DWP Operations that finds solutions and we have problems that need your attention.
    Please understand that the community might need your email address for communication with you: James.Yannotta@Water.LADWP.Com Thank you Mr. Yannotta and thank you as always Sierra Wave for this communication


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