10/24/2002 Summary of Inyo/LA Standing Comm meeting 10.23.02
OCTOBER 23, 2002

1.) Big Pine ditch system supply project-
The Long-term Water Agreement (LTWA) calls for 6 cfs of water for a Big Pine(BP) town ditch system. Water would come from a new well WEST of town (currently proposed for Bell Canyon area) and from BP Ck. In addition, BP’s town well would be replaced. Possible alternatives: a.) use excess water from the BP town replacement well (#415) to augment flows from Bell Cyn. well and BP Ck. b.) drill a well off Reynolds Rd. that will also “dewater” Knight Manor mobile home area . DWP rejects this due to cost gamble (~$250K), distance to ditch system, on/off risk, predicted low flow. c.) DWP suggests taking 500 AF from other E/M projects in the valley and give to the BP ditch project . This would require an amendment to the LTWA d.) exempt both the town replacement well (#415) and Bell Cyn. well. Concerns with the Bell Cyn. well are that its flow might be small and it could impact riparian vegetation west of BP. DWP suggests exemptions from on/off provisions of the LTWA . Inyo Supvs. say no to that. e.) Use a well EAST of town. DWP rejects this due to concerns of impacts on their wells in the area that are already off under the on/off provisions of the LTWA. f.) DWP suggests increasing annual pumping 500AF each year. g.) use a BP private well. h.) BPIIA could accept whatever water that they get from BP Ck. and Bell Cyn wells with or w/o exemptions .The Big Pine Irrigation and Improvement association (BPIIA) accepts this concept. i.) DWP offers $400K to BP for their choice of project (town hall, swimming pool etc). DWP is required under the LTWA to give BP $100K if the ditch system isn’t feasible.

DWP(Gewe)-“We’ve gone beyond the LTWA by agreeing to a 2nd well (Bell Cyn.).”
BPIIA(Steele)-“The town well was a replacement well and not a ditch project well.[Bell Cyn well is the 1st well for the ditch system]”
DWP (Rubalcava)-“Exempt Bell Cyn. well. Test it before considering the 3rd well (Reynolds Rd well)”.
Inyo (James)-“That’s what we are proposing.”
DWP(Gewe)-“BP ditch system could be mitigation for any impacts from Bell Cyn. well.We’ve done this elsewhere”
Inyo(James)-“Inyo will consider partial exemption of Bell Cyn. well during dry years when BP Ck. flows are low.”
Inyo (Miller)- “Would DWP go ahead NOW with Bell Cyn. well?”
DWP(Gewe)-“If that ends it. No 3rd well.”
Inyo(Mendez) “Let’s evaluate it (Bell Cyn) to see if it could be exempted.”
BPIIA(Steele)-“BP is being held hostage to replacement water. BP has no completed projects. This year 27K AF of water will be pumped from around BP. We ask LA for 500 AF of replacement water with NO new well. Water will flow through and go to east side regreening project. W/o flow through the regreening project will require a new well that will cause problems.”
Inyo(Miller)- “We delayed the east side regreening project to wait for the BP ditch flow through water.”
Inyo(James)-“The 500 AF would require a change in the LTWA.”
DWP(Gewe)-“We will consider the 500 AF request.”
Inyo(Bear)-“What is the goal of this? Last meeting we said make it[the ditch system] work.[Why isn’t it?]”
Inyo(Mendez)- “The goal is to get water in the ditch. We could have been talking about this 4 years ago. No more delays.”
Inyo(Arcularius)-“Without the ditch outflow the east side regreening will require a new well.[problem]”
BPIIA(Steele)-“Since 1990 Klondike Lake has been reduced 500 AF. That water could be given for the BP ditch project.We don’t want money.”
Inyo(James)- “We only need replacement water for water that is lost in the ditch project, not for the water that flows through for the regreeneing.”

2.) Laws Irrigation resumption-
Laws Ranch is Type E vegetation(irrigated) as defined in the LTWA. It has not been irrigated in nearly 10 years. The LTWA requires that it be irrigated. Propose to transfer(move) equivalent acres to nearby site within same well field where easier irrigation will be possible. Irrigation must begin by April 1, 2003 or Dispute Resolution will commence. Inyo Supvs. agreed to the change with 3 conditions: a.) LTWA must be amended (DWP believes this is not necessary to move Type E vegetation). b.) CEQA document must be prepared. c.) Mitigation plan must be drafted for abandoned acres.

Both parties say the change can be accomplished and irrigation will begin by April 1, 2003. Inyo says acres previously irrigated as of 1981-82 are being calculated. Inyo proposes an amendment to the LTWA that would allow moving Type E vegetation anywhere in the valley if it is within the same well field, is in the same lease and if CEQA documentation is done. Inyo says some leasees have moved Type E veg in the past and this current proposal will bring them into compliance.

Both parties agree that it will be out by the court ordered date of November 1, 2002.

Next meeting –sometime during the first week of December in Los Angeles.

Contacts:  Mike Prather Phone: 760-876-5807