Tag Archives: ladwp

INYO RUN OFF

Inyo County Agencies unite to battle massive run off projected from record snowpack.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Amanda Parsons at LADWP, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is working proactively to prepare for the arrival of anticipated massive runoff water resulting from this year’s near record snowpack in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. These efforts are in partnership with Inyo County, the Inyo Sheriff’s Department, Bishop Police Department, Cal-Trans, Southern California Edison and others, as a member of the Inyo County Interagency Emergency Preparation team.

Work to prepare for the anticipated high water flows began in late February. The efforts have been assisted by an Emergency Declaration from the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to allow LADWP to take immediate steps to protect infrastructure and aid in managing flood waters while also protecting public safety. Inyo County issued a similar declaration.

To maximize the beneficial use of runoff water to the fullest extent, LADWP is spreading water throughout the aqueduct system to replenish local groundwater aquifers. Current spreading is moderate and will increase as runoff occurs in larger quantities later this spring and summer. LADWP is also maximizing flows in the LA Aqueduct by lowering reservoirs to create more storage space for runoff water and supplying the City of Los Angeles with aqueduct water in place of purchased water and groundwater wherever possible to manage excess flows. Further, LADWP crews are hard at work preparing, cleaning, and repairing water conveyance ditches, spreading basins, sand traps, and other facilities located on City of Los Angeles property, areas controlled by LADWP, and along the Los Angeles Aqueduct, in order to manage the anticipated runoff. 

Water that exceeds what can be spread to recharge local aquifers and which does not make it into the LA Aqueduct system will end up on the Owens Lakebed, the natural terminus point for waters flowing down the Owens River. Once there, it will add to the existing 30 sq. miles of saline brine pools and is expected to cause significant flood damage to dust control infrastructure managed and constructed by LADWP over the past 17 years. These measures, spread over nearly 50 sq. miles of dried lake, have effectively reduced dust pollution in the area by 96 percent. Damage to these dust control areas may result in increased air pollution that could threaten the health of the public after the runoff evaporates in 12 to 18 months.

LADWP is also concerned by the potential of water overflow in and around the towns and communities of the Eastern Sierra and is actively providing assistance in preventing and controlling runoff that could impact the public. Emergency assistance will be provided on lands throughout the valley should flooding threaten the property of a partner agency or the public.

“Inyo County is no stranger to emergencies and disasters,” Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze said. “Our resilience comes from a strong unified command made up of local, state and federal agencies as well as a public that is proactive in emergency preparedness. We continue to be grateful for our strong working relationships with our allied agencies, including Department of Water and Power, as well as with our residents.”

In order to keep the public informed of the steps being taken to manage runoff to the greatest extent possible and minimize the impact to dust control measures, LADWP will issue regular updates of its runoff management efforts.

Emergency Runoff Management Activities undertaken by LADWP as of April 11, 2017, include:

 

Water Spreading

Pleasant Valley to Tinemaha Reservoir –      23,500 acre feet (AF)

Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir – 7,600 AF

South of Haiwee Reservoir –                         5,200 AF

 

Total Spreading Water                                    36,300 AF

 

Maintenance and Construction Activities

Mono County

 

·         Crowley Lake will be lowered to 80,000 AF to make room for anticipated runoff. Current level – 107,000 AF

·         Completed Long Valley Dam and spillway inspections (Work will be ongoing)

·         Snow removal to better access Long Valley Reservoir Dam (Complete)

Currently very little work is being conducted in the Mono Basin due to heavy snow. Equipment is planned to be staged at critical structures and areas likely to see high water conditions, such as Lee Vining Intake and Rock Creek sand trap at Toms Place. This will take place once site conditions allow.

 

Pleasant Valley Reservoir to Tinemaha Reservoir

·         Applied for variance from Department of Water Resources Division of Safety of Dams to raise Pleasant Valley Reservoir water level (Complete)

Work to repair and upgrade existing spreading ponds and diversion structures in the Laws/Five bridges area include:

·         Reinforce and increase size of pond berms to increase spreading capacity and durability. Installing additional head walls and diversion pipes and culverts to provide greater flexibility during spreading operations (90% complete)

·         Preparing to raise portions of patrol roads adjacent to the canals to provide additional free board and greater conveyance capacity in both the Upper and Lower McNally Canals. This work will provide the ability to spread over 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the nearby spreading ponds or to spreading areas located further downstream (Project starting this week)

·         Preparing portions of the McNally Canals East of Hwy 6 to accept water by mowing and cleaning (Complete)

Work on canals, ditches and ponds in the Bishop area include:

·         Cleaning the George Collins and the A.O. Collins Canals and repairing/replacing diversion and spreading structures (Complete)

·         Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Rawson Canal (Complete)

·         Cleaning, mowing and repairing diversion structures on the Ford Rawson Canal (Complete)

·         Cleaning and mowing Bishop Creek Canal (Complete)

·         Modifying irrigation ditches off Bishop Creek to maximize spreading potential (Complete – Additional work will be needed over the summer months to remove aquatic vegetation to maintain capacity in the canal)

·         Filling Farmers Ponds, located on the West side of Hwy 6, and installing new culvert and diversion structures to convey water to the ponds located on the East side of the highway (Complete)

Round Valley area work includes:

·         Hand crews cleaning all open diversions on Horton Creek and Lower Rock Creek (Complete –  Work will be ongoing in the area with both equipment and hand crews cleaning ditches, installing culverts and diversion structures to maximize spreading potential.)

Big Pine area sand trap and diversion structure work includes:

·         Cleaning the Baker Creek sand traps, diversion structures and ponds (50% complete)

·         Cleaning and mowing the Big Pine Canal (Complete – Further work will be needed throughout the summer to maintain capacity once aquatic growth begins to restrict flows.)

·         Tinemaha Creek and Red Mountain Creek diversions cleaned and marked. (75% complete – Further work will be needed to direct flows into existing catch basins and spreading ponds located in the adjacent areas.)

Tinemaha Reservoir to Haiwee Reservoir

·         Repairing/rebuilding spreading basin infrastructure (70% complete – Able to spread in excess of 200 cubic feet per second at this time)

Work in the Black Rock Ditch area includes:

  • Rebuild/repair/replace culverts, check structures and distribution pipes (Complete)
  • Clean and/or repair distribution channels (70% complete)

Work in the Stevens Ditch area includes:

·         Mowing, cleaning and adding spreading culverts (Complete – Currently at 50% of capacity)

·         Prepare Thibaut area ditches and berms (Complete)

Work to prepare the two canals located east of the Owens River to divert imminent flow into the LORP includes:

·         Clearing McIver Ditch from East of Goose Lake to south of Mazourka Road (100% complete. Currently flowing 15 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)

·         Clearing the Eclipse/East Side Ditch from Mazourka Road to south of Owenyo area (100% complete – Currently flowing 13 cfs during Owens River pulse flow. Evaluating additional work for maximum flows and spreading.)

Los Angeles Aqueduct (LAA) work includes:

  • Cleaning the Unlined section of the LAA (75% complete – Cleaning will be needed throughout runoff season)
  • Cleaning the Lined section of the LAA to the Alabama Gates (100% complete – Cleaning will be ongoing as needed)

Equipment Staging

  • All requested heavy equipment has been rented and received based on forecast needs. Equipment is performing preparation tasks, will be staged during spreading and cleaning operations.

Work to prepare the Lower Owens River Project (LORP) intake includes:

  • Cleaning the Forebay (Complete – Will need to be cleaned throughout the year.)
  • Cleaning the measuring section (Complete)
  • Jetting the Langeman Gate area (Complete)
  • Cleaning the LORP tail bay and 100 Yards downstream (Complete)

Continually preparing the alluvial fan creek diversions west of the LORP:

  • DWP lands:                                          95% complete
  • Bureau of Land Management areas:  70% complete
  • Forest Service areas.                                     100% complete

Owens Lake

 

·         Armoring of berms, northwest area Owens Lake (Work not yet commenced, in purchasing for contract award)

·         Construction of new trenches northwest area of Owens Lake (5% complete)

 

 Lower Owens River Pump-back Station (Pump-back Station) work includes:

·         Placement of temporary barriers, gravels, sandbags and related components around the Pump-back Station to protect it from inundation (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

·         Widen the path of water within the Lower Owens River across from the Pump-back Station through creating a temporary channel allowing for greater conveyance of water. This temporary measure is intended to prevent ponding of the water in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station and decreasing the potential for water elevation rising in the vicinity of the Pump-back Station (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Lower Owens River Temporary Flow Modification work includes:

·         Placement of temporary barriers and related components to redirect the water away from the Corridor 1 Road and the T36 DCA northern berm. This temporary measure is intended to prevent inundation and damage to the existing managed vegetation area in the T36 DCA (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

·         Modify the east bank of the Owens Lake Delta and tamp down the existing vegetation (tulles) along east side of the Owens Lake Delta to improve water conveyance capability and create a preferred pathway (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

Western High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Pipeline work includes:

·         Temporarily securing in place about 825 feet of the irrigation supply lines from T36 dust control area (DCA) to T37 DCA. This measure is intended to prevent the existing three, 18-inch-diamater plastic pipelines from potential floatation and damage (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)   

Zonal Mainline work includes:

·         Placement of temporary plastic lining and related components to protect the Zonal Mainline from damage due to inundation and erosion of the slope of westerly berm road, the Brady Highway, from wave action due to high winds (Waiting to receive approval from the respective agencies)

South of Haiwee Reservoir

·         As of 4/2/17, LADWP has discharged a total of 4,600 from the Los Angeles Aqueduct at three locations: Rose Valley south of Haiwee Reservoir, Freeman Wash west of Ridgecrest, and Cameron Wash north of Mojave.   

·         Working on reestablishing the Maclay Highline, which diverts LAA water to the Pacoima Spreading Grounds (20% complete)

·         Structuring the Power Plant One Slide Gate to place water into San Francisco Creek (Currently pursuing permits for this).

 

To request runoff preparation assistance, please contact Greg Loveland by emailing gregory.loveland@ladwp.com or calling 760–872-1104.

LADWP FIXING PAIUTE WATER PIPE

LADWP to get started on the replacement of a water pipe crucial to agriculture on the Big Pine Paiute Reservation

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from Amanda Parson at DWP, at Tuesday’s Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners meeting, a number of members of the Big Pine Paiute Tribe and other tribal advocates appealed to the board members to take action to repair a failing 75-year-old irrigation pipe that provides water to tribal lands in the Owens Valley during the general public comment portion of the agenda. Leaks along the 1300 foot, 18 inch line, constructed around 1940 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, have greatly diminished the line’s ability to provide water for irrigation of the tribe’s reservation land. Issues over ownership of the line and future responsibility for its repair and maintenance had slowed addressing the situation. Although in recent months, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) had agreed to make the repairs pending resolution of these issues.

 

During the course of the public comment, Commissioner Christina Noonan was so moved by the heartfelt stories and concerns for the welfare of the tribal members that she offered to personally cover the cost of the pipe repair in order to make water available this irrigation season. She commented, “As a long-time representative of the City of LA on the LA-Inyo Standing committee, I understand both sides of the issues, and I am concerned that poor communications between the parties is prohibiting much needed action, so I am ready to resolve this today.” As the issue was not on the Board agenda, no action by the Board was able to be taken on the matter.

 

Following the Board meeting, LADWP General Manager David H. Wright directed staff to take immediate steps to fix the failing pipeline without using the Commissioner’s generous donation. Wright said, “Both the LADWP and the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley are concerned that the pipeline be repaired as quickly as possible to prevent another year of major losses due to leakage. While LADWP had already previously offered to pay to fix the pipe as part of a mutual agreement, it is clear that we cannot wait to resolve broader issues surrounding future responsibilities quickly enough. In the spirit of cooperation, we will expedite the repair or replacement of the failing portions of the irrigation pipe at our own cost, as we had originally offered. We will continue discussions with the tribe and the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding the underlying ownership, maintenance responsibilities and other issues at a future time.”

LADWP- STATE OF EMERGENCY

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declares state of emergency to address unprecedented snowmelt in the Owens Valley

Posted by Seth Conners

 

According to a press release from DWP, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a local State of Emergency to protect the lands and communities near the Los Angeles Aqueduct from flooding, as this year’s historic Eastern Sierra snowpack begins to melt into the Owens Valley.

This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierra is 241% above normal, and once spring sets in, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.

This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water Angelenos use in a year — will likely threaten local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake with destructive flooding. Mayor Garcetti’s Emergency Declaration will trigger City rules that enable LADWP to act quickly in response to the threat, and begin the process of requesting assistance from the state and federal governments.

“I am declaring a local State of Emergency today because we have a responsibility to protect Angelenos and the people of the Owens Valley — we must act quickly to address this threat,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I have also requested that Governor Brown help us coordinate our response with state agencies.”

“This emergency reminds us that climate change is not a problem for the distant future — it is already causing harm, and we know there is more to come. That’s why it’s critical for us to continue investing in infrastructure that makes our City more sustainable and resilient, and continue pushing to reduce our carbon emissions,” he added.

Mayor Garcetti is committed to making the City more sustainable, and combating climate change. His administration’s Sustainable City pLAn outlines ambitious goals for water conservation, carbon emission reduction, climate resiliency, and expanding the use of renewable energy. This historic snowpack directly after a historic drought is an example of the extreme climate patterns modeled in many climate studies.

Today’s Emergency Proclamation will help LADWP respond to the immediate threat of flooding in the Owens Valley by triggering special City rules that enable the utility to contract for the goods and services it needs more quickly. Since it is intended to last longer than seven days, the declaration requires approval by the City Council.

LADWP is already taking steps to prepare for this year’s snowmelt, and Mayor Garcetti’s declaration will enable the utility to act more quickly. For example, the agency is spreading water along the length of the L.A. Aqueduct system — so that the excess water can be used to replenish underground aquifers — and maximizing flows throughout the system, using more Aqueduct water to supply Los Angeles. It is also shoring up existing flood control infrastructure and emptying reservoirs along the Aqueduct to prepare for the snowmelt and protect its hydroelectric power plants and critical endangered species habitat from flooding.

In Owens Lake where the City has spent more than $1 billion on dust mitigation over the last two decades, LADWP is building new infrastructure to guide the flow of excess runoff away from its dust control operations and prevent them from destruction.

“Public safety is among our core values as an organization,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright. “LADWP has made a commitment to the residents of the Owens Valley to control dust emissions that can be harmful to breathe, and have spent over $1 billion on infrastructure to mitigate this dust. As storm waters threaten to destroy much of this investment, we must honor our commitment to the residents of the Owens Valley to reduce this form of air pollution, just like we honor our commitments to rate payers in the L.A. Basin. This Declaration by Mayor Garcetti today allows us to bypass lengthy supply procurement regulations to ensure that we can immediately continue to keep particulate matter from being blown off the dry lake playa during periods of high winds.”

BLAKE JONES CANCELLED

Heavy water flow in the Owens River leaves no choice but to cancel the derby.

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Tawni Thomson, The Bishop Chamber of Commerce regrettably announces cancellation of the 2017 Blake Jones Trout Derby which was scheduled for March 11th. A unique set of circumstances beyond the chamber’s control led to the decision.
On Friday, February 24th Los Angeles Department of Water and Power rescinded its permission to hold the event at Pleasant Valley Reservoir due to public safety concerns. Strong winter storms have caused extremely high water level in the reservoir and dangerously high water flows in the Owens River. The chamber immediately began working with LADWP, Inyo County, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife seeking other options. Millpond was suggested as a safe alternative; however, on Monday, February 27th CADFW informed the Bishop Chamber that Millpond is not a viable location. According to CADFW regulations, Millpond is not open to trout fishing this time of year.
“Since LADWP issued the public safety warning for PVR and the Owens River, and no safe alternative is available, the Chamber’s Executive Committee has no choice, but to cancel the event for this year,” explains Tawni Thomson, Bishop Chamber CEO.
This is not a decision taken lightly. The chamber had been making plans for many months and invested several thousand dollars in advertising and prizes. They also understand the financial impact to the local economy; however public safety must be the highest priority.
The 2017 event was to be the 50th Annual Blake Jones Trout Derby and the Bishop Chamber had many new and fun activities planned to celebrate the milestone. “We’ve decided not to view this as a total cancellation. We will still have the 50th Anniversary, it will just be in 2018,” says April Leeson, Chamber Event Coordinator.
While the chamber is disappointed, they are not upset with LADWP or CADFW. “It was wonderful to see representatives from all agencies working so hard to try to save the derby,” Thomson states. “We really appreciate everyone’s suggestions and sincere efforts.”
Preregistered derby contestants will have all fees returned. “It will take us a few weeks to process the refunds and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding,” explains Thomson.

 

LADWP

LADWP to maximize local water spreading

Posted by Seth Conners

According to a press release from LADWP’s Amanda Parsons, During the Inyo County/Los Angeles Standing Committee earlier this week, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced plans to maximize the spread of water in the Owens Valley this year to levels not seen since the wettest year on record, 1983-84.

The above average snowpack levels, registering north of 200 percent of normal to date, are expected to provide ample water supply for both the Eastern Sierra region and the LA Aqueduct. Runoff calculations from the Eastern Sierra are anticipated to be in the range of 900 to 1 million acre feet (AF) of water.

Due to the ample water supply, LADWP will be able to meet all water needs throughout Long Valley and Inyo County. The spread of this water is expected to improve local vegetation and groundwater levels, representing a significant recharge of the Owens Valley aquifer. Given the abundance of water, LADWP will conduct no discretionary pumping in the region – only necessary pumping for town water systems and Enhancement and Mitigation projects which always operate using groundwater, such as fish hatcheries and pasture irrigation.

“To date this winter we’ve spread 8,000 acre feet of water in the Owens Valley and we expect to spread a lot more,” James Yannotta, Manager of the Los Angeles Aqueduct for LADWP said. “We anticipate matching if not exceeding the amount spread during our wettest recorded winter.”

The wet winter is also expected to assist ranch lessees who will receive at least a full allotment of water this year, a much welcome reprieve from the   past five consecutive years of drought.

In all, the Department expects to release water to Long Valley and throughout the Owens Valley in Laws, Bishop, Big Pine, Independence and areas further south.

“In terms of water supply, this winter is good news for everyone – both the Owens Valley and Los Angeles,” Richard Harasick, Senior Assistant General Manager of Water System for LADWP, added. “There is ample water to go toward both our environmental commitments in the Eastern Sierra and supplying our ratepayers in Los Angeles.”

Also in the Standing Committee Meeting, the parties from both Inyo County and Los Angeles agreed to formally adopt revisions to the vegetation monitoring protocols outlined in the Green Book. The adoption of these revisions represents the end of a monitoring discrepancy that has been in place since 2005.

The new method strengthens existing practices by developing a more consistent sampling program. The new protocols allow Inyo County and LADWP staff to divide pre-determined monitoring parcels rather than separately monitoring the same areas, reducing overlap and streamlining the process.

Vegetation monitoring in Inyo County is required by the Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement and must be able to compare vegetation cover and composition to the vegetation cover and composition obtained during the initial vegetation inventory which occurred between 1984 and 1987.

The Technical Group approved the new monitoring program at its meeting of February 9, 2017. Today’s approval by the Standing Committee makes the new protocols official.

LADWP closing road near Sage Grouse breeding grounds

Temporary Road Access Closure to Sage Grouse Breeding Grounds, Long Valley, California

submitted by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
February 29, 2016

Closure to be in place March 1-April 26, 2016

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will be implementing a temporary road access closure at North Landing (north of Crowley Lake Reservoir) to limit vehicular access to sage grouse breeding grounds from March 1- April 26, 2016.  Vehicular traffic from the public will be prohibited during this time to limit recreational use during the prime breeding season for this sensitive species. The closure will be lifted Tuesday, April 26, 2016 prior to Fishing Opener.

Cover Photo provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

LADWP, Crowley lake reservoir, North Landing Crowley Lake, Sage Grouse

LADWP reclassifies five bridges wells

The Los Angeles Department of water and power reclassifies 2 wells in the Five Bridges area as “New Wells”

Will Conduct a CEQA Study

LADWP statement

BISHOP – Community concern surrounding the proposed testing of two recently modified wells in the Five Bridges area north of Bishop, have prompted the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to re-evaluate and treat wells W385 and W386 (now numbered as 385R and 386R) as “new wells” as defined by the Inyo/LA Water Agreement and described in the Green Book. The new classification means that LADWP will perform a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study on the project to analyze whether operation will have significant environmental impacts and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
“Performing a CEQA study for wells 385R and 386R is appropriate to better avoid potential significant environmental impacts,” James Yannotta, Manager of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, said. “With the activation of these wells we hope to provide water for local environmental and irrigation efforts, and provide a reliable source of water for export to Los Angeles.”
The old wells W385 and W386 were operated in the late 1980s with the intention of both dewatering gravel pits in the Five Bridges area and providing water for Los Angeles. Both wells were screened to the shallow and deep aquifer and, when operated, impacted vegetation in the Five Bridges area.
Consequently, the 1991 Environmental Impact Report (EIR) identified both wells as contributing to a significant impact to vegetation in the area and prescribed development of a mitigation measure to remediate the impact. The mitigation measure 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.
Recently, both wells 385R and 386R were modified and screened to pump only from a deep aquifer, and will pump at a rate of less than 25 percent of their original capacity. LADWP anticipates that pumping from the deep aquifer, and at a dramatically lower rate, will protect groundwater dependent vegetation from any impacts associated with pumping. LADWP planned to conduct a thorough test to confirm this prior to putting the wells into operation. However, significant opposition to the renewed operation of these wells has been received by Inyo County and LADWP. After reviewing these concerns, LADWP agrees that further study of the area will alleviate concerns and is now reclassifying wells 385R and 386R as new wells.
LADWP thanks the community for their input during this process. The Department will adhere to the new well provisions outlined in the Inyo/LA Water Agreement in activating these and all new wells.

The goal of the Inyo/LA Water Agreement is to provide a reliable source of water for the City of Los Angeles as well as the protection of the Owens Valley environment. During a normal hydrologic year nearly one-third of Los Angeles’ water supply is supplied from the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

A large presence in the Eastern Sierra region, LADWP owns 315,000 acres in Inyo and Mono Counties and keeps nearly 75 percent of these lands open to the public for recreation. LADWP has been present in the Owens Valley for over a century and is a valuable partner in the Owens Valley community.

Cover Photo by Gary Young

los angeles department of water and power, five bridges road bishop, la/inyo long term water agreement, LADWP

Great Basin honored for work on Owens Dry Lake

National Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship Given to Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

Statement from the Great Basin UAPCD

November 2, 2015. Bishop, California
The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin) was awarded the 2015 Award for Excellence in Environmental, Energy and Resources Stewardship by the American Bar Association (ABA). Great Basin was selected for this prestigious award for its
historic achievement in obtaining the largest particulate air pollution control project in American history on the dried Owens Lake bed. By December 31, 2017, dust controls on 48.6 square miles
of the lake bed will reduce harmful particulate air pollution by up to 240,000 tons each year.

For more than a century, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) diversion of the Owens River into the Los Angeles Aqueduct has linked the Owens Valley to the City of Los Angeles. These diversions created the dried Owens Lake bed, which was the largest source of dust pollution in the country. The fine particles of dust are dangerous to public health, especially the children and elderly population. Great Basin has stood firm to address the nation’s most polluted air and with completion of LADWP’s Phase 9/10 dust control project currently underway, air quality will soon be some of the nation’s cleanest.

“On behalf of our communities, we look forward to a new day of cooperation with the City of Los Angeles to protect the health of our communities and environment” said Phill Kiddoo, the Great Basin’s Air Pollution Control Officer. He continued, “Our dedicated staff
continue to serve the public with their skillful talent and deserve the majority of the credit for this award.”

The award was presented Friday, October 30, 2015 at the meeting of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources in Chicago, Illinois.

Phillip L. Kiddoo, Air Pollution Control Officer
Phillip L. Kiddoo, Air Pollution Control Officer
great basin unified air pollution control district, phillip kiddoo, owens dry lake, ladwp, largest source of pollution

LADWP Removes Aqueduct Dam

LADWP REMOVES TEMPORARY LA AQUEDUCT DAM

Statement from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power:

Bishop, CA – After meeting environmental demands in the Eastern Sierra for the irrigation season, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) removed the temporary dam in the Los Angeles Aqueduct, unblocking the system and allowing exportation of approximately 22,000 acre feet (AF) of water gathered from the Inyo/Mono Basin this runoff year to flow south to Los Angeles.

The temporary dam was put in place in April near the south end of Owens Lake to hold back Eastern Sierra runoff water in the Owens Valley for environmental purposes during this period of extreme drought. The first-of-its-kind dam effort enabled LADWP to successfully meet its environmental and other water commitments in the Owens Valley.

“While our past actions may have contributed to negative impacts in the Eastern Sierra region, our current mitigation efforts are working to not only restore the land, but also our relationship to the local community,” LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards said.

“On a normal year, nearly half of all Los Angeles Aqueduct water from the Inyo/Mono Basin stays in the Owens Valley for Owens Lake, environmental mitigation efforts, irrigation, and other uses,” LADWP Los Angeles Aqueduct Manager Jim Yannotta said. “This year, with the snow pack at just four percent of normal, there isn’t enough water to fulfill the needs of both the Owens Valley and Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles received drastic water reductions, demonstrating LADWP’s strength of commitment to the Eastern Sierra community.”

The total Eastern Sierra water supply on an average year is approximately 541,000 AF. Of this amount, approximately 230,000 AF is typically exported from the Eastern Sierra region to Los Angeles. The rest, nearly 50 percent, is kept in the Owens Valley for uses including environmental mitigation, recreation, habitat enhancement, irrigation and dust mitigation on the Owens Lake, among others. This year, with the temporary aqueduct dam in place, Angelenos will receive just 10 percent of typical exports.

With the residents of Los Angeles receiving a drastic reduction of water from the Eastern Sierra, LADWP had to increase purchased imported water from the Metropolitan Water District and the State Water Project. In addition, Los Angeles increased conservation levels above their already state-leading efforts, meeting stringent goals mandated by Governor Brown and Mayor Garcetti. As a result of this conservation Los Angeles has the lowest water use per capita of all major U.S. cities with a population of over 1 million.

In addition to conservation, LADWP is hard at work shoring up local water resources by increasing stormwater capture efforts and recycled water programs. Furthermore, the Department is cleaning up the San Fernando Groundwater Basin where man-made pollution caused by industrial activities beginning in the 1940s severely impaired the quality of the groundwater, forcing the closure of nearly half of LADWP’s production wells in the area. Staff is working to remove contamination from the groundwater and restore use of the aquifer which once provided over 28 billion gallons per year – nearly two months of the City’s water supply.

With these increases in local water supplies and conservation efforts, Los Angeles is on track to cut imported water purchases from the Sacramento Bay Delta and Colorado River in half by 2025, and an Executive Directive from Mayor Garcetti last year has cemented these commitments.

photo submitted

ladwp, la aqueduct dam removal, owens dry lake, los angeles department of water and power

Irrigation water to flow

LADWP TO SUPPLY WATER FOR DURATION OF IRRIGATION SEASON

Statement from the LADWP:

Bishop, CA — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is committing to continue irrigating city-owned lands through the duration of irrigation season thanks to water reductions on Owens Lake obtained through the granting of a variance by Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin).

“We are encouraged by the collaboration from our partners at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the State Lands Commission,” Manager of Los Angeles Aqueduct James Yannotta said. “Through the State Agencies’ approval of the variance, LADWP now has the necessary water for irrigating leased City lands in the Owens Valley through September 30.”

The variance granted by the Great Basin Hearing Board in July enables LADWP to initiate a late ramp-up of shallow flooding on Owens Lake. This allows for a water savings of approximately 4,200 acre-feet this fall, which in turn will in turn provide sufficient water for the remainder of irrigation season.

LADWP previously committed to irrigating city-owned lands through August. Irrigation season will end on September 30, 2015.

ladwp, los angeles department of water and power, owens valley news, inyo county news