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Drought Recovery Policy (DRP)

Inyo County/Los Angeles Standing Committee

"Recognizing the experimental nature of the management and mitigation techniques, and under the severe conditions of the current drought, it has been agreed by LADWP and Inyo County to conservatively manage groundwater pumping during this drought and during a period of recovery following the drought, LADWP and Inyo County have agreed that the following policy will govern future groundwater pumping:

Recognizing the current extended drought, the Standing Committee establishes a policy for annual management of groundwater pumping during this drought. The goal of this policy is that soil water within the rooting zone recover to a degree sufficient so that the vegetation protection goals of the Agreement are achieved. To this end, groundwater pumping during this drought, as well as the period of recovery, will be conducted in an environmentally conservative manner, taking into consideration soil water, water table, and vegetation conditions. It is recognized that soil water in the rooting zone is naturally replenished by precipitation and from the water table. Further, soil water, water tables, and vegetation conditions will be monitored by the Technical Group to ensure that the goal of this policy is being achieved and for purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of the existing well turn-off/turn-on provisions.

This policy is to provide guidance to the Standing Committee for establishing annual pumping programs during the current drought as well as during a period of recovery. It is intended that groundwater pumping will continue to be conducted in an environmentally conservative manner as was done during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 runoff years until there has been a substantial recovery in soil moisture and water table conditions in areas of Types B, C, and D vegetation that have been affected by groundwater pumping. The Standing Committee will establish annual pumping programs based on an evaluation of current conditions, including soil moisture level, water table depth, degree of water table recovery, soil type, vegetation conditions, the results of studies pertaining to vegetation recovery, and compliance with the goals of the Agreement. It is probable that this policy will result in reduced annual pumping programs as compared to annual pumping programs based solely on soil moisture conditions."

(p 2-28 & 2-29 City of Los Angeles and County of Inyo 1991)

The preamble and first paragraph of the DRP were adopted by the Standing Committee and included in the Draft EIR to the LTWA in 1990.  In response to a comment that the DRP needed to be "strengthened to cause recovery of soil moisture to the estimated needs of the vegetation at the time it was inventoried between 1984 and 1987,"  (p 2-28 City of Los Angeles and County of Inyo 1991) the Standing Committee added the second paragraph to the DRP in the Final EIR of 1991.

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