The L.A. Department of Water and Power has come under fire for decades for siphoning water from Mono Lake and the Owens Valley. But in recent years, the utility has taken steps to try to mitigate its impact on the ecosystem in that part of Central California. The latest move – the D.W.P. board signed off on a deal last week to help restore four creeks that were drained dry by the Los Angeles Aqueduct between the 1940s and 1980s.
Under the deal, the D.W.P. would build an adjustable gate on Grant Dam. That gate would then release water in natural seasonal patterns into Rush Creek and three other tributaries that feed into Mono Lake.
We asked Geoff McQuilkin – executive director of the Mono Lake Committee – what kind of impact this could have on the Mono Basin:
Now when it comes to finances, McQuilkin says the deal calls for the price tag to be split 50/50. The D.W.P would fork over $15 million to build the new gate on Grant Dam. But in exchange the L.A. utility would be allowed a one-time allocation of water to offset half of that cost.