To view the main Department Department web page inyowater.org
The Inyo County Water Department (ICWD) monitors the vegetation, soil water, and hydrology of the Owens Valley following ground-water exportation by the City of Los Angeles. The ICWD assists in the implementation of the County Policy on Extraction and Use of Water, the Agreement, FEIR, MOU, and Ordinance 1004 (see Resolution 99-43). Inyo County and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power use this information to jointly manage the valley’s water resources under the Inyo/Los Angeles Water Agreement. ICWD also advises the County on other water resource issues in Inyo County. In addition, ICWD conducts research and carries out saltcedar control programs.
To protect the County’s environment, citizens, and economy from adverse effects caused by activities relating to the extraction and use of water resources and to seek mitigation of any existing or future adverse effects resulting from such activities.
The Inyo County Water Department assists the County Board of Supervisors in the implementation of policies that it has established pertaining to water resources in the County. The Water Department was formed in 1980 when the voters passed an ordinance regulating groundwater pumping through a groundwater management plan. The Water Department’s roles and responsibilities are set out in Board Resolution 99-43 are:
- Monitor the environment of the Owens Valley.
- Manage water resources in accordance with the Inyo/Los Angeles Long-Term Water Agreement.
- Coordinate implementation and oversight of projects arising from the Inyo/Los Angeles Long-Term Water Agreement and associated agreements.
- Evaluate hydrologic and related environmental impacts of groundwater transfers, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) surface and groundwater management, and conduct scientific research related to Inyo County water resources.
- Remain informed and educated about issues related to water resources and inform the public about such issues.
- Serve as staff to the Inyo County Water Commission.
- Advise the Inyo County Board of Supervisors concerning potential effects of proposed decisions, legislation, or other administrative actions as directed by the Board.
To accomplish these tasks, the Water Department maintains a staff of administrative and technical professionals based out of Independence, California. Water Department staff monitors vegetation, soil water, and hydrologic conditions in Inyo County to assess the effects of past and future LADWP water management activities. The Water Department also implements and monitors mitigation projects related to groundwater pumping and land management, both for projects under the Inyo/Los Angeles Long-Term Water Agreement and under the County’s groundwater ordinance #1004 passed in 1998.