– Submitted by Daniel Pritchett
Supervisors must act promptly to challenge DWP
DWP released its final 2015-2016 Operations Plan last week. As expected, it includes enormous (57%) reductions in Owens Valley irrigation water. Under the Inyo LA Water Agreement (LTWA), these cuts must be approved by the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee has not approved the cuts and without such approval the reductions are a flagrant violation of the LTWA.
Inyo County has yet to address this violation. It has neither notified DWP its plan is inconsistent with the LTWA, nor gone to court to seek an injunction. Inyo Supervisors have an obligation to enforce the LTWA and failure to do so is a betrayal of the public trust.
Withholding irrigation water will have devastating consequences to our agricultural economy and is not necessary: There is more than enough water in Long Valley Reservoir to supply this year’s irrigation obligations.
In addition to disclosing 57% cuts in OV irrigation, DWP’s Operations Plan discloses DWP will reduce domestic water supply in LA by less than 10%. This is not even close to Governor Brown’s mandated 25% reduction. Shared sacrifice, indeed!
For years, Inyo Supervisors have paid lip service to supporting agriculture and ranching while ignoring credible complaints of irrigation reductions in violation of the LTWA. This has to stop. Please contact your Supervisor and remind him that enforcing the LTWA is not optional and that the county must take immediate action to challenge DWP’s illegal reductions in irrigation.