Mitigation

river-mountainsOne function of the Water Department is to monitor the status of LADWP’s environmental projects and mitigation projects throughout the Owens Valley. Under the Inyo/Los Angeles Water Agreement and the 1991 EIR concerning LADWP’s groundwater pumping in the Owens Valley, the Inyo/LA Technical Group must prepare annual status reports on the EIR’s mitigation measures, on mitigation measures subsequently adopted by the Inyo/LA Standing Committee, and on Enhancement/Mitigation projects. The Water Department has prepared a series of tables which summarize the status of the mitigation measures adopted at the time the 1991 EIR was approved. The tables are intended for use by the Technical Group in preparing the annual status reports.

Mitigation_Projects_North_OV_Jan 2002Ad Hoc Projects

In February 2006, an Ad Hoc Group consisting of representatives from the Parties and ranching interests met to discuss alternatives to the draft plans. The Ad Hoc Group operated with a consensus-based approach as a means of recognizing all parties’ interests. The Ad Hoc Group met on a regular basis, and developed and, in November 2008, agreed on a set of projects that they believe would fulfill the commitment in the MOU that LADWP provide 1,600 acre-feet of water per year for the Hines Spring mitigation measure and additional mitigation.

Mitigation_Projects_South_OV_Jan 2002Specific Mitigation Measures

  • Lower Owens River Project (LORP) – The Lower Owens River is located in the southern Owens Valley. An approximately 60-mile reach of the Lower Owens River was diverted to the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 to supply water to the city.  DWP is required to re-water this dry section of the river.

Revegetation Program – The EIR identifies approximately 1,300 acres of Los Angeles land in the Owens Valley that were adversely affected by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power groundwater and surface water management. The EIR requires that these lands be revegetated with plant species native to the valley.

LADWP’s Draft 2016 Five Bridges Mitigation Plan

On January 28, 2016, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power provided the County with their draft mitigation plan for the under-performing Five Bridges Area Mitigation project, which is located three miles north of the City of Bishop.  The County is currently reviewing the proposal and preparing comments.  The Mitigation Plan will be developed jointly by the City and County and presented to the Technical Group when it has been finalized.
2016 LADWP Draft Five Bridges Mitigation Plan

The County regards LADWP’s 2016 Draft Five Bridges Mitigation Plan as a revision to the 1999 Mitigation Plan (Revegetation Plan for Impacts Identified in the LADWP, Inyo County EIR for Groundwater Management), which was prepared to satisfy the 1997 MOU.
1999 Revegetation Plan

Map of the Five Bridges impact area from the 1991 EIR
Map – Five Bridges

Saltcedar Control – The Saltcedar Program is responsible for controlling all saltcedar, a non-native invasive species, on LADWP lands within the Owens Valley.

Spring & Seep Inventory – Owens Valley Spring and Seep Inventory, D. Sada and D. Herbst; an MOU requirement. (2001)

Independence Regreening Project – Independence Regreening Project Negative Declaration, prepared by LADWP (2004)

Big Pine Northeast Regreening Project – Big Pine Northeast Regreening Project Negative Declaration, prepared by LADWP (2011)

Vegetation Parcel Blackrock 94

The Water Agreement provides for ongoing monitoring of conditions in Owens Valley, and mitigation of any impacts that occur due to LADWP’s groundwater pumping or changes in surface water management.  If a significant impact occurs, the Technical Group must prepare a mitigation plan.  Vegetation parcel Blackrock 94 is a 333 acre parcel of alkali meadow vegetation located in the Thibaut-Sawmill well field, southwest of Black Rock Fish Hatchery.  The Technical Group considered evidence submitted by the County concerning conditions in the parcel, but was not able to reach agreement as to whether a mitigation plan should be prepared.  The County submitted the issue to dispute resolution, and a mediation/arbitration panel was convened to resolve the dispute.  On October 21, 2013, the arbitration panel issued findings and partial interim award.  This Fact Sheet summarizes the dispute, findings by the panel, and next steps.

Briefs by the parties:

Inyo Initial Brief (7/26/2013)

LADWP Initial Brief (7/26/2013)

Inyo Response Brief (9/3/2013)

LADWP Response Brief (9/3/2013)

Inyo Reply Brief (9/20/2013)

LADWP Reply Brief (9/20/2013)