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Volume 2 - Issue 5
Late March 2022

Now Streaming:

Without Water

by Allison Weber and Jamie Della

Soaring over Long Valley in aerial swoops, the film Without Water, a 20-minute documentary, considers what could happen to important wetlands in Mono County if the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) extracts more water than these lands can afford to give up. 

Without Water, a film by Metabolic Studio and directed by Jonathan Hyla, premiered online on World Water Day, Tuesday, March 22.

For a limited time, Every Last Drop readers are receiving exclusive access to stream this beautiful film online for free. The film is available on YouTube and Vimeo and can be accessed as follows: 

On YouTube, via this direct link: Without Water on YouTube

On Vimeo, via this link: Without Water on Vimeo (Vimeo video password: “water”)

We invite everyone, especially the people of Los Angeles, whose lives are, through water, intertwined with those of the people of the Eastern Sierra, to watch this film, share it, and help us spread the word. If Long Valley is not protected from further water extraction, this area and other beautiful lands of Payahuunadü, the Eastern Paiute people's name for this “Land of Flowing Water," will eventually become a landscape "Without Water."

The film premiere and recorded video includes a Q&A panel moderated by Matt McClain. An interview with Matt was the subject of our last Every Last Drop Newsletter (Volume 2 - Issue 4). The panel features Without Water director Jonathan Hyla, Long Valley rancher Matt Kemp, Executive Director of Friends of the Inyo Wendy Schneider, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Bishop Paiute Tribe Monty Bengochia, and educator/organizer Kris Hohag.

Click here to watch.

Here's what some of the voices represented in the film or the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition are saying:

“I'm involved in the Keep Long Valley Green coalition because it has been instrumental in getting the word out about the detrimental effects that will occur in Long Valley should spreading water discontinue. It is a diverse group of people who have come together for a common goal.” 

-Matt Kemp, Owner of Giacomini/Cashbaugh Ranch

“We are stewards of the land! Mother Earth was created green and beautiful before Euro Americans and corporate Americans decided to destroy it for personal gain of money!” 

-Angela Eddy, Native American/ Vice Chairwoman of Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe


“Long Valley is part of the upper reaches of the Owens River watershed.  In about 1905, LADWP claimed all of the waters of Owens River.  The highest priority for LADWP is to collect and direct these waters to customers in Los Angeles.  Whatever management actions LADWP takes in Long Valley affects the eastern Sierra region, both upstream and downstream of Long Valley.  For more than a century, LADWP has drained the eastern Sierra, drying up lakes and springs, killing wetlands, pumping groundwater out from under groundwater-dependent meadows, destroying a diverse agricultural economy, imperiling plant and animal species, creating horrendous health-harming dust emissions, and oppressing Indigenous peoples.”

-Sally Manning, Environmental Director, Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley

“Long Valley, like all of the watersheds in Mono and Inyo Counties, currently relies on the whims of the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power for its water supply. Long Valley is a wetland meadow now, but LADWP can decide at any time to dry it up and turn it into a desert. This situation must change. It is time for LADWP to include local stakeholders in a meaningful way regarding its water extraction decisions. It is also time for LADWP to begin reducing the amount of water it extracts from Long Valley and the rest of the Eastern Sierra. Thanks to LA's conservation and water reclamation successes over the last decade, this is now possible and must become a reality.”

-Wendy Schneider, Executive Director of Friends of the Inyo

In Without Water,  Kris Hohag, a descendant of the Mono Lake Kutzadika'a and member of  the Bishop Paiute Tribe, states. “I meet people up here from L.A. all the time, and they care about this place greatly.” Yet, most have no idea that the lands they love are threatened by their own city’s water utility. The water which flows through Long Valley is the same water which flows to the taps of Los Angeles via the 300-mile-long Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Hyla admits, “Everyone on this panel is intimately aware of the water that is being taken away from them. Us in L.A., [we are] oblivious… so what motivation do the people in Los Angeles, the mayor, city council, water board, have to do the right thing if there is no pressure on them?” 

Call to Action

Only with pressure from their customers, citizens of Los Angeles, will LADWP consider changes. Without water, this land and tribal, ranching, and tourism-based livelihoods cannot survive. Without water, the playground of Los Angeles will literally turn to dust. Without support, this coalition can’t stand up to LADWP. We need you, no matter where you live, to learn about this issue and speak up.

Share the Without Water film with your friends and family in Los Angeles. Visit KLVG’s website for a letter template to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and send the Mayor a correspondence explaining your concern over the water extraction from the Eastern Sierra. 

Working together, we can create water equity.


Why do YOU want to Keep Long Valley Green?

Let us know by writing to us at info@keeplongvalleygreen.org, or messaging us on our social media platforms: Instagram and Facebook @keeplongvalleygreen, and Twitter @LongValleyGreen.

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