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Letters: A new water war

July 01, 2012
  • Greg Norby, general manager of the Mammoth Community Water District, visits one of his favorite spots on the shore of Lake Mary. The Mammoth Community Water District says that if it loses lawsuits filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for control of Mammoth Creek, it would have to buy water from the DWP. That would force the district to raise average rates to levels many locals cannot afford, officials say.
Greg Norby, general manager of the Mammoth Community Water District, visits… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Re "Uphill battle with the DWP," June 29

The article tells of a possible water-rate increase of $20 a year because the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had to expand its remediation of the Owens River. Now we find that the DWP is suing the Mammoth Community Water District because it uses 1% of the water the DWP is entitled to because it owns the water in Mammoth Creek.

Really, I'm going to be almost ashamed to be a tourist from L.A. on my holiday in Mammoth Lakes this year. At least I will be helping the struggling economy.

I'll give my 1% and $20 if the DWP will lay off the Owens River so I can go to the Eastern Sierra and fish, hike and marvel at the grandeur of the "Range of Light" guilt-free — almost.

Patricia R. Ogden

Valley Village

The article suggests the DWP is the bad guy. Los Angeles owns water rights in the Eastern Sierra watershed, and it allowed water to be taken from Mammoth Creek back when Mammoth Lakes was a small community.

Mammoth has since grown, and it is now claiming the equivalent of squatter's rights to justify the taking of more water to slake its own thirst.

This scenario is an example of the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. As a result, Los Angeles must go to court to defend its rights for the benefit of its own residents for fear those rights may be permanently lost.

Leon Furgatch

Granada Hills

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