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Introducing Every Last Drop

Volume 1 - Issue 1

Welcome to the launch of Every Last Drop: Exposés on the L.A. / Eastern Sierra Water Wars, a biweekly newsletter of the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition (keeplongvalleygreen.org).

Our diverse coalition includes Tribal governments, ranchers,  county and city governments, businesses, and local and national environmental groups working to prevent the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power from draining every last drop from Payahuunadü, “the land of flowing water,” which is what the Paiute people call the Eastern Sierra.

Every Last Drop aims to distill the turbulent history and complex issue of water into manageable, drop-sized installments for the benefit of residents of Inyo, Mono and Los Angeles counties. Armed with knowledge, we may stand united in seeking solutions for water justice. The “Murky Waters” section will allow our coalition members, many of whom have been on the front lines engaging with DWP for decades, to tell their own stories. By highlighting relevant news, research and personal interviews, Every Last Drop will strive to bring to the surface accountability and solutions that ultimately will drive LADWP to deliver water to the people of Los Angeles at a reasonable price while preserving the ecosystems of the Eastern Sierra for truly fair and sustainable water sharing (“conservation dividends”). 

In Every Last Drop, we will expose murky waters and suggest conservation dividends that will merge into a powerful current for change.

In this first issue, we invite you to read a thoughtful piece by Eastern Sierra Author and Every Last Drop Writer/Editor Jamie Della, on how we were swept into the current maelstrom. We hope this read will inspire you to subscribe to our newsletter, share our mission with your friends and family, and become an action ally with the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition.  

On a mission for water justice

By Jamie Della

Direct contact with the natural world is crucial in shaping our ability to extend our ethics beyond our own self-interest. In this land of flowing waters, tall green grass danced in the winds that, like breath, blew up and exhaled down the Eastern Sierra range. The Paiute people created miles of irrigation canals to water gardens for medicine and food. From spring through fall, the creeks rose and fell with snow melt. The water brought life, turning chalk white Aspen bark into chartreuse trunks that sprouted bright green leaves.

As the City of Los Angeles grew, its leaders looked to Payahuunadu’s snow-capped mountains and claimed water belonging to another community for their own. Through lies, intimidation and at gunpoint, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) built the aqueduct and drained the water from the Great Basin, literally a bowl, to fill their bowl of Los Angeles, without answering to the community from which they took. The land grew barren and all indigenous life in the area suffered without a voice at the table.

Recently, the people of Los Angeles have made great strides to reduce their water use and  yet LADWP has not shared the conservation dividends with the Eastern Sierra. Despite the hard-earned savings by Angelinos, DWP is purposefully confusing their customers and brushing over the fact that they are not sharing in their conservation dividends. Claims for legal entitlement hide the nearly 50 noncompliance issues, a brutal history, and current mitigation costs that are passed along to the ratepayers. 

The drying out of the Owens Lake and River did not take into account its unintended effect of creating a deadly toxic dust that caused death through dust pneumonia for hundreds of people.  In our next newsletter, discover how the Eastern Sierra dust bowl currently affects this land, flora, fauna and perhaps even you. 

The Keep Long Valley Green coalition believes DWP should give the people, economy, and ecosystems of Payahuunadu a seat at the table. It is time for a shared water ethic. We ask that you tell people about this newsletter so that, armed with knowledge, we can collectively deliver the message that we know DWP can meet the water needs of Los Angeles and decrease its take from the Eastern Sierra. Please follow the link below to take action and share this newsletter. 

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What's the latest news?

The rising dust pollution from dewatering Mono Lake prompted a letter from the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District which could result in legal action. 

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