Eastern Sierra Region Water Management

Balancing Supply and Demand for Fish and Communities

The eastern Sierra region supplies water for numerous economically disadvantaged communities in the area, the City of Los Angeles (30- 50% of LADWP’s water), as well as local fisheries. At the state level, over exploitation of natural resources to meet urban water demands is posing a threat to the health of Sierra Nevada ecosystems, and thus the health of our imperiled native trout fisheries. Therefore, integrated and comprehensive water planning is essential for the long-term sustainability of our ecosystems. California’s IRWMP provides an opportunity to coordinate regional resources management to help ensure 1) adequate water supplies and flows, 2) improved water quality and 3) healthy ecosystems. In 2008, CalTrout initiated what has become the Inyo-Mono IRWM Program. For more information, go to inyo-monowater.org.

Conservation Goals

  • Protect the water resources necessary for sustaining healthy populations of wild and native trout and the habitats that support them throughout the Inyo-Mono planning region and beyond.
  • Increase water-use efficiency resulting in greater water supplies to relevant fisheries.
  • Improve water quality throughout the eastern Sierra.
  • Remove and control the invasive species threatening eastern Sierra watersheds.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Oversaw five fully-funded regional water management staffers.
  • Produced the IRWMP plan document which outlines goals and objectives for the region (including a critical climate change vulnerability assessment).
  • Implemented an array of projects including: 1) development of the West Walker River restoration plan, 2) Oak Creek watershed restoration plans, and 3) a Phase I stormwater management plan for the town of Mammoth Lakes.
  • Mark Drew, CalTrout Eastern Sierra Program Manager, served on the Strategic Focus Group, tasked with providing guidance to DWR’s Strategic Vision for IRWMP.

What We Will Accomplish in 2014-15

  • Complete various restoration projects including: restoration plan for the West Walker River & Oak Creek Watershed Management Plan.
  • Complete a documentary highlighting the importance of water and water resources management in rural, headwater regions of California.
  • Develop a regional plan to control and eradicate aquatic invasive species.
  • Ensure that Sierra Nevada watersheds receive increased IRWMP funding.

Partners: Members of our MOU-Amargosa Conservancy, Big Pine Paiute Tribe, Birchim CSD (Sunny Slopes), Bishop Paiute Tribe, Bridgeport Indian Colony, Bridgeport PUD, Bureau of Land Management, California Rural Water Association, Central Sierra Resource Conservation & Development Council, Eastern Sierra Audubon Society, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Eastern Sierra Unified School District, Fort Independence – Amalgamated Reservation, Indian Wells Valley Cooperative Water Management Group, Indian Wells Valley Water District, Inyo County, Inyo National Forest, Inyokern CSD, June Lake PUD, Lone Pine – Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Mammoth Community Water District, Mojave Desert Mountain RC&D, Mono County, Mono County RCD, Mono Lake Committee, Owens Valley Committee, Owens Valley Indian Water Commission, Round Valley Unified School District, Town of Mammoth Lakes, Wheeler Crest CSD (Swall Meadows).

Click to see other Eastern Sierra Region projects