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Attend the Inyo County/Los Angeles Standing Committee Meeting at 11 a.m. this Thursday, May 30, in Independence or online via Zoom. 

Photo by Alienor Baskevitch

What's Happening?

The Inyo County/Los Angeles Standing Committee will meet in Independence this Thursday, May 30, to review the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Draft Annual Operations Plan (a meeting to discuss potential changes to the plan was held by the Inyo/L.A. Technical Group on May 9), look at a runoff update, and consult with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on issues related to the Lower Owens River Project. 

The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 30, and may be attended in one of two ways:

1) In Person at the Board of Supervisors Room, Inyo County Administrative Center, 224 North Edwards St.
Independence, CA.; or

2) Online via the links and instructions provided in the Agenda per the link below. Note: BE SURE TO REVIEW THE AGENDA THOROUGHLY, as it has information on how to join the online meeting, and how to offer spoken or written comments via Zoom or email.

There will be an opportunity for public comment at the beginning of the meeting. Your voice can make a difference!

There will not be another meeting of the Standing Committee in Inyo County until November. 

What Can I Do?

Attend the meeting and contribute a public comment. Providing comments orally or in writing is how we make our voices heard. We will show LADWP and the Inyo County Water Department (ICWD) that we care and we are paying attention. You will have about three minutes to give your comments at the beginning of the meeting.

Make your comments personal to you! Why do you care about reducing pumping from the Eastern Sierra? What would you like to see LADWP do differently in this upcoming year? Here are some ideas you may want to include:

  • Do not install any new LADWP wells. We ask LADWP to refrain from: installing new wells, replacing wells that run dry, and installing new pumps on existing wells. Our ecosystems deserve a break to recover from ceaseless pumping. We urge LADWP to turn its attention to developing its own sources of local water, through their programs like Operation NEXT. 

  • Make plans to reduce pumping so that every wellfield stays at or above baseline. This “baseline” amount does not refer to optimally healthy water table levels for our valley. Rather, the “baseline” numbers average the water table levels from 1985, 1986, and 1987 – after LADWP had already inflicted significant damage. Therefore, LADWP and Inyo County Water Department (ICWD) should maintain every wellfield at or above baseline to promote more holistic recovery.

  • Limit pumping in Big Pine Wellfield. Big Pine Wellfield is the most heavily-pumped wellfield in the valley. In its response letter, ICWD noted that deeper aquifer zones had begun recovering with a reduction in pumping at the Fish Springs hatchery in recent years. LADWP pumped 13,591 AF last year. For this year, LADWP proposes a range of 14,700-21,300 AF. The Fish Springs area has suffered enormous damage from pumping over the years. To help promote recovery, we urge LADWP to not exceed last year’s pumping totals (13,600 AF) in Big Pine.

  • Do not pump deep aquifers. The ICWD letter mentions that LADWP has indicated interest in pumping deep aquifers in order to minimize impact on vegetation. We resolutely stand against this idea. Pumping from deep aquifers could have numerous unintended and unpredictable effects on our ecosystems. We reject the idea that we even need to dedicate limited time, money, and manpower to studying the effects of pumping deep aquifers.

If you have any questions, please email Lauren@friendsoftheinyo.org


Friends of the Inyo
621 W Line St Suite 201  | Bishop, California 93514
(760) 873-6500 | info@friendsoftheinyo.org

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