In April of this year, the LADWP estimated a snowpack runoff at 36 percent of average. Given that dramatic decline in water supply, the LADWP’s projected aqueduct delivery for the total 2015 runoff year is now 21,754 acre-feet. That’s about half of what the LADWP estimated it would export when it released its Operations Plan for the first six months of the runoff year. The LADWP released its Operations Plan for the second six months (Oct. – Mar.) last month.
21,754 is also significantly less than the average of 331,000 acre-feet the LADWP has historically exported from Inyo and Mono Counties to Los Angeles.
The LADWP suspended its water exports from April to September of 2015. The amount of water in the Aqueduct will remain at zero for October, November, and December, according to the new Operations Plan. The LADWP will deliver the final roughly 10,000 acre-feet to Los Angeles during January, February, and March of 2016.
The LADWP plans to pump 60,675 to 75,285 acre-feet of groundwater over the full runoff year. “Why the range was so wide was our main question at the Standing Committee meeting yesterday [Monday, Nov. 2],” said Inyo County Water Department Director Bob Harrington. “The LADWP said well, besides being pretty uncertain about the runoff forecast, there’s a lot of uncertainty about how the El Niño will shape up.”
The LADWP also plans to divert about 133,389 acre-feet in water for Owens Valley uses during the 2015 runoff year. This represents an increase of about 12,189 acre-feet over the LADWP’s original projection.
Between ramping down the water used for dust mitigation on Owens Lake early last spring, and delaying the ramp up of water to the lake this fall, the LADWP saved about 10,000 acre-feet that will now go toward irrigation, according to Harrington. The LADWP previously estimated it would allocate 23,129 acre-feet to irrigation; now it will allocate 39,629 acre-feet. “Normally they would irrigate about 49,000,” Harrington said. “Given the runoff conditions, a 20 percent reduction in irrigation seems pretty livable, so that was good news.”
Clark resigns from NIH Board
Dr. D. Scott Clark submitted his letter of resignation as a member of the Northern Inyo Hospital Board of Directors on Thursday, Nov. 5. His term would have expired in November 2016.
NIH interim-Chief Executive Officer Kevin Flanigan said that once a board member has submitted their resignation letter, the board has a number of days before it is required to post the opening and start accepting selections to fill the seat. Flanigan said there is no business for the board between now and the required date to fly the opening. Flanigan did not say whether the resignation was effective immediately or whether Clark will keep his private practice open. He also did not know the reason for Clark’s departure. Clark was unavailable for comment.
“He has been a giant in delivering health care to Inyo County for decades,” Flanigan told The Sheet. “He has galiantly served as surgeon, board member and member of the community.”
Leslie Chapman takes over as Mono County CAO
The Mono County Board of Supervisors announced at its regular meeting on Tuesday that Leslie Chapman, the county’s Finance Director, has been appointed to the County Administrative Officer position effective, November 4.
“Leslie Chapman … was selected out of a field of over 20 [national] applicants,” said Board Chair Tim Fesko, “Ms. Chapman has demonstrated her dedication to Mono County and her leadership skills as Finance Director during challenging economic times. We look forward to working with her as CAO, a role in which she will be able to lead us toward the best Mono County imaginable.”
The CAO oversees day-to-day county operations, formulates short and long-range plans and budgets, coordinates work of department heads, interprets Board policies, represents the Board in the County’s intergovernmental relations, and performs other general administrative duties for the Board. Chapman served as Inyo County’s elected Auditor-Controller for 10 years before joining Mono County’s management team two years ago. Chapman takes over the CAO position from Public Health Director Lynda Salcido, who has served as the county’s interim CAO since May.
“Today is a new beginning for Mono County,” said Fesko. “Please join me in welcoming Leslie as Mono County’s newest CAO, and in thanking Lynda for her service these past few months.”