In the new year, negotiations between Mammoth Community Water District and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power continue with a court deadline at the end of this month.
Officials from both sides have met several times to talk about ways to end the lawsuits filed by LADWP. Those suits allege that Los Angeles, not Mammoth Water District, has all of the rights to the water in Mammoth Creek, which is the major supply of water for the community. Mammoth officials strongly disagreed and pointed to their rights allocated by the State Water Board. LADWP persisted.
Mammoth Community Water District Manager Greg Norby said there are no new developments at this point. He did say, “We are waiting for confirmation from LA on key items of the settlement principles.” Norby said that the court deadline remains at January 30th.
Manager Norby said he is in regular communication with DWP Director of Water Operations, Marty Adams, “with the goal of having settlement principles ready ahead of the court deadline.” Judge James Garbolino had ordered the parties to reach a settlement or go to trial by the end of the month.
In November, Norby had said a four-hour meeting at DWP headquarters in Los Angeles resulted in “substantial progress towards a settlement agreement.” The nature of the proposed settlement remains confidential.
After they filed suit about a year ago, DWP offered to settle the suit if Mammoth Water District would buy the amount of water the community uses out of Mammoth Creek and give it to LA. That would cost around $2 million per year. Water District officials said no.
The Water District hired a high-powered public relations firm to counter-attack LA’s assertion of water rights.