Water Policy


Friends of the Inyo’s Executive Director speaks truth to power – as in the L.A. Department of Water & Power – in 9/17 Op-Ed in ‘The Sheet’

Friends of the Inyo’s Executive Director speaks truth to power – as in the L.A. Department of Water & Power – in 9/17 OpEd in ‘The Sheet’ “It is very frustrating to see LADWP make efforts to inform the people of Inyo and Mono Counties about its conservation successes, and microscopic baby steps toward developing truly local water. What we’d really like to see up here, what the health of our ecosystems and our economy need, is a schedule of water extraction reduction,” writes Wendy Schneider, Friends of the Inyo’s Executive Director, who is considered a local water protector by…


Water Justice Week is coming the first week of August!

On August 3rd, attend virtually the first ever Great Basin Water Justice Summit, which is bringing together diverse water protectors from Eastern California, Nevada, and Utah to discuss water justice issues. Then, later in the week, attend in person a movie screening of award-winning local short films on water justice. Two dates and locations to choose from: Cerro Coso Community College Bishop Campus Friday, Aug. 5th, and Mammoth Campus Saturday, Aug. 6th. These events are FREE and open to the public.


FOI June Funding Appeal: Please give to help us keep our water in the Eastern Sierra!

Friends of the Inyo’s June 2022 Funding Appeal to our donors and supporters is all about water – each drop of it as precious as a diamond in these times of drought. Please read a heartfelt plea for support from Executive Director Wendy Schneider and follow the instructions to donate to help our water justice work so we can continue the fight to keep our water in the Eastern Sierra. Thank you!

CRMP cottonwood owens featured image

Comprehensive River Management Plan – Owens River Headwaters and Cottonwood Creek | Coalition Comments

For the Comprehensive River Management Plan (CRMP) to fulfill its protective purpose, it is essential that the plan go beyond a simple recitation of resources and issues and focus on current and future actions that could harm the free-flowing condition, outstandingly remarkable (OR) values, segment classification, and water quality of the protected river. Unfortunately, the draft CRMP for the Owens River Headwaters Wild and Scenic River (WSR) fails this test. In particular, the CRMP and accompanying Resource Assessment fail to provide crucial information about groundwater extraction from aquifers that contribute to the flow of the Owens River Headwaters WSR.

Owens Lake Overook Youth Conservation Corps

LADWP Halts Premature Groundwater Pumping Plan at Owens Lake!

Robbing Groundwater From a Dry Lake Back in March Friends of the Inyo submitted comments on the misguided Owens Lake Test Well East project. The test was a masked attempt to increase groundwater pumping underneath the dusty Owens Lake bed. “We are not in agreement that groundwater pumping from beneath Owens lake can be done in an environmentally sustainable manner,” writes Wendy Schneider. Piecemeal self regulations were proposed by LADWP to replace any type of public review in hopes that the agency could escape scrutiny or mitigation for their newest water grab. Implementing this first step, as part of a…

LADWP comment preview

Groundwater Pumping at Owens Lake by LADWP Comments

LADWP is attempting to increase its extraction of water supplies from the Owens Valley by developing a program of consumptive groundwater use from the Owens Lakebed. We are not in agreement that groundwater pumping from beneath Owens Lake can be done in an environmentally sustainable manner, even for a limited period of time. LADWP has improperly piecemealed review of the incremental steps it is taking to achieve increased water withdrawals from the Owens Valley. It has done so without adequate disclosure or analysis of the cumulative and adverse impacts, both past and future, of LADWP’s extractions, the interactive role of…