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DWP eyes Rose Valley water

August 13, 2013

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is preparing to activate a dormant well in Rose Valley, where Coso Geothermal is currently pumping up to 3,000 acre-feet of water each year. County officials and Coso Operating Company agreed that a 10 percent reduction in groundwater feeding Little Lake (above) would constitute significant impacts. Photo by Darcy Ellis

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is preparing to activate a dormant well in Rose Valley, where Coso Geothermal is currently pumping up to 3,000 acre-feet of water each year for its operations.
An initial study and Mitigated Negative Declaration of Impacts for the project has been prepared and a public comment period opened Aug. 5 and will close at 5 p.m. Sept. 4.
Comments may be emailed to michael.mercado@aldwp.com or faxed to (213) 367-4710. Comments may also be mailed to the LADWP Environmental Assessment and Planning: Att. Mr. Michael Mercado, 111 N. Hope St., Room 1044, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
In addition to activating the well, the LADWP is proposing to install an eight-inch diameter water pipeline, 1,540 feet long, along an access road in an abandoned agricultural field in Rose Valley. The pipeline will transport water from Well V817 to the L.A. Aqueduct.
Inyo County Water Director Bob Harrington said he is still reviewing the project proposal and will bring comments to the Board of Supervisors later this month for review.
Harrington said it would be “premature to respond” to the proposal without proper review and guidance from the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, but he did say that the county and LADWP need to keep in mind that the Coso Operating Company is already pumping from the Rose Valley area, and an Environmental Impact Review was conducted about three years ago to ensure that those operations do not negatively impact Little Lake or the surrounding area.
The LADWP “will need to touch on how their project will work with the EA for the Coso project, because an extensive EIR was done on that project” and found that about 3,000 acre-feet of water can be pumped from the area without “significant impact” to groundwater springs that feed Little Lake.
The county and Coso Operating Company agreed that a 10 percent reduction in groundwater feeding the lake would be considered a “significant” impact.
Harrington said that Coso has been pumping less than the allotted 3,000 acre-feet per year in Rose Valley. Next month, the county and Coso Operating Company will review current pumping operations to ensure that there are no negative impacts in the Little Lake area.
The LADWP is proposing to pump about 1,100 acre-feet of water a year at Well V817, located east of U.S. 395, south of Haiwee Reservior on LADWP-owned land.
“That (1,100 acre-feet) is not a trivial amount when combined to what’s already going on down there,” Harrington said.
Harrington said draft comments on the pumping plan will be presented to the Board of Supervisors at either the Aug. 20 or 27 meeting.
Copies of the Mitigated Negative Declaration for the project may be picked up at the LADWP office at 300 Mandich St. in Bishop, or at the Lone Pine Library.

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