Counties and LADWP try to figure out what to do with all the runoff
Early spring runoff is already filling canals and open fields in Inyo County following of one of the wettest winters on record as the snow is just beginning to melt. And, there could be more runoff coming with spring rains. As of March 14, Sierra snowpack was at 217-percent of normal and predictions are for approximately 750,000-acre feet of runoff. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers’ need about 500,000-acre feet to get them through the year.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power provided the water numbers and explained to Inyo County Supervisors at its meeting Tuesday, March 14 what it, and they, can do about all the water.
LADWP has been letting water spill out on the ground, literally. Water is running out onto fields and meadows in the Owens Valley, an early start on letting go of some excess water and It has released, or spread, 17,000-acre feet between Pleasant Valley and Tinnemaha Reservoir, another 5,000 between Tinnemaha and Haiwee Reservoir and another 4,000-acre feet south to slightly within Kern County and Indian Wells Valley.
The water will recharge the aquifer, Yannotta said. “We’re going to minimize pumping as much as we can,” he added. The water graciously spilled by LADWP on its own land, much of it that it leases to ranchers, will not count against lessee’s allotment.