Letter: ‘A most remarkable press release’

Submitted by Daniel Pritchett, Bishop

A most remarkable press release!

On January 12, DWP issued a press release.


What DWP wrote: DWP announced it had modified wells “W385” and “W386” in the Five Bridges area, changed their names to “385R” and “386R”, and would conduct an analysis of environmental impacts of the wells under the California Environmental Quality Act prior to their “activation.”

What DWP omitted: The Inyo-LA Standing Committee agreed in 1999 that these two wells would be “permanently shut down” as part of a mitigation plan for the devastation they had caused.

Apparently DWP believes changing the names of the wells means it is no longer bound by its agreement that the wells will be “permanently shut down.”

If DWP pumps a single drop from these wells, I suggest Inyo County immediately re-name Owens River, “OwensR” River, and Bishop Creek, “BishopR” Creek.

Using DWP’s own logic, all DWP’s water rights would be null and void and could be claimed by the historic senior water rights holders: the Owens Valley Paiute.

What DWP wrote: “The mitigation measure [for the devastation caused by the two wells] required Inyo County and LADWP to jointly develop and implement a revegetation plan for 300 acres identified in the report. This mitigation effort is ongoing.”

What DWP omitted: DWP hasn’t adhered to the mitigation plan. As a result, a population of the State Listed rare plant Sidalcea covillei (Owens Valley Checkerbloom) has been extirpated, as documented by the Inyo County Water Department.

What DWP wrote: Jim Yannotta stated the pumps would be used, in part, to provide “water for export to Los Angeles.” (italics added)

What DWP omitted: For years the DWP party line has been that DWP doesn’t export groundwater, notwithstanding some pumps which pump straight into the Aqueduct. In fact, in 2003 DWP spokesman Chris Plakos asserted, “no groundwater has been ‘exported’ from the valley for about the last 15 years.”

DWP is unlikely to ever again admit the truth that it exports groundwater, so this press release is historic. Please commemorate the occasion by contacting your Inyo County Supervisor and telling him the county should not agree to the pumping of a single drop from wells that have been “permanently shut down” (regardless of what they are named).

Daniel Pritchett


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9 Responses to Letter: ‘A most remarkable press release’

  1. Warpaint January 20, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    DWP has the county in their back pocket. Inyo County is in freefall. SIH is a disaster, they can’t get along with local tribes, an innocent woman is held in jail for 2 weeks, DWP is illegally breaking the water agreement.
    There’s more but I’ll stop.

    • Tionia February 1, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

      Don’t stop!!!

  2. earl duran January 21, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    Maybe DWP could bail out SIH.

  3. Daris January 21, 2016 at 10:18 am #

    A rose by any other name is still a rose, you can’t change a leopard’s spots, and even if you shoe black a skunks white stripe it still smells like a skunk. I think I smell a skunk in all of DWP’s plans.

  4. Claudia Elliott January 21, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    oops, did not understand the like or dislike system; did not mean to dislike

  5. Jqp January 21, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    There are two seats up for reelection on the board this year. Change can be had, but will anyone step up?

  6. Odysseus January 23, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    @Jqp what are the Requirements to qualify and to get on The Board??

  7. JQP January 24, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

    @Odysseus: Live in the district (2,4,or 5 – there are actually 3 seats up), be a registered voter, and win the popularity contest in June. Collect $50K a year + benefits, go to meetings on most Tuesdays. No experience or education required.

    • Karen Rotchstein January 25, 2016 at 5:57 am #

      That is why our county is in such a mess. Lies and fraud. Our supervisors should be held responsible for the wreckage they leave. They need qualifications and education. We need a choice.


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