Following the Mono Lake Committee’s December 16, 2022 letter requesting emergency action to suspend the export of water diverted from Rush and Lee Vining creeks and require delivery of that water into Mono Lake until Mono Lake has risen to 6384 feet above sea level, the State Water Board has scheduled a Mono Lake workshop for February 15, 2023.
This timely action shows that the State Water Board continues to take the pressing issue of Mono Lake’s low level seriously.
Even with the recent storms, the surface elevation of Mono Lake is so low that intervention is necessary. The Board’s consideration of the Committee’s appeal begins with the virtual public information-gathering workshop on February 15.
In the February 15 virtual public workshop, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) will stand in opposition to the Committee’s petition, but the Mono Lake Committee will be there in force to speak for Mono Lake and its vulnerable wildlife. Joining us in presenting the case for Mono Lake action will be the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.
With all of this water is a workshop still needed?
You may wonder why the Committee wants the State Water Board to intervene in the midst of a wet year. Won’t the lake level rise naturally from the coming snowmelt? Hopefully. But under the current rules, the gain from wet years is not preserved. With the currently allowed DWP stream diversions, the lake level drops again in subsequent dry years, as it did in 2022, eroding progress made.
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Top photo by Forrest English.