The Inyo County Board of Supervisors reviewed the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s 2022-23 Draft Owens Valley Operations Plan at its meeting Tuesday for what is being considered a “big year” due to record-setting snowpack.
Inyo County Water Department Director Holly Alpert, Ph.D., explained how the Long-Term Water Agreement between Inyo County and LADWP states that LADWP will provide an annual operations plan by April 20 of every year. After that, the county has 10 days to review the plan and respond. LADWP then must meet with county representatives to try to resolve the county’s concerns. The agency has another 10 days after meeting with the county to revise its operations plan and implement it.
Alpert said the story of this year’s plan is that it’s “a big year,” which was brought on by snow and rainstorms that occurred earlier in the year.
She noted that the LADWP runoff forecast is for almost 1 million acre-feet of water (one acre-foot of water is about 326,000 gallons), which is an “unprecedented, record-making 233% of normal.”
“This is four times the amount of runoff that we had last year,” Alpert said.
She said within the draft plan, LADWP is proposing a range of pumping from about 40,000 to 51,000 acre feet, which would almost be all for in-valley uses, with a re-examination of conditions in the fall.
If LADWP would hold to its minimum pumping forecast, it would be the lowest amount on county records dating back to 1969.
For more on this story, see the April 29 edition of The Inyo Register.