LADWP shutting off irrigation May 1

LA cutting off water to lessees Friday

The Inyo Board of supervisor invited everyone to the table to talk water.  A water workshop was scheduled as part to their regular meeting Tuesday.  Monday night Inyo supervisors were made aware of notice passed along to local LADWP lessees that irrigation would halt Friday, May 1st.  The Los Angeles Department of water and power giving lessees less than a weeks notice of their directive.  Inyo County Administrative Officer Kevin Carunchio responds.

“ Most of the LADWP lessees in the area, received communication that all irrigation water, weather supplied by surface water like creeks, canals, or pumped from the ground, will be shut off May 1st. Obviously that spells nothing but disaster, economic, agriculture and environmental disaster. For the lessees and for the wildlife that lives on those leases, and for the ascetics of the Owenes Valley.”

The Inyo County CAO and the board of supervisors see the move by the LADWP as a clear violation of the long term water agreement.

“Yesterday the board met and authorized correspondence and appropriate legal action. The board did move forward with the workshop, and had a spirited, constructive, and heart felt conversation about how to use the water the dwp has said it will leave in the valley.” Said Caruchio.

Inyo Supervisor Rick Pucci opened yesterdays workshop by questioning the LADWP’s willingness to work cooperatively in light of their bold step to cut irrigation waters.  Carunchio sees the move as an unfair blow to Owens Valley agriculture.  “Everyone there yesterday recognizes the need for reductions of water use, that’s just a reality in this type of drought year, but to heap it all on agriculture does not seem wise or fair. When you look at it, some of the ag leases are the biggest win,win situations out there in terms of environmental enhancement, wildlife habitat, dust control and economic influx”

Citing pending litigation, LADWP officials did not comment directly on the topic at Tuesdays workshop.

cover photo by Gary Young.

inyo county news, drought 2015, kevin carunchio, rick pucci, ladwp