Judge rules against Los Angeles in Long Valley irrigation fight

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A judge ordered the Los Angeles Department of Water and Electricity to continue providing historic amounts of irrigation water to tenants on its pastures east of Yosemite, despite the claim by the agency that climate change is making the water resources of the Sierra Nevada watershed increasingly unreliable.

Alameda County Judge Evelio Grillo’s ruling could have significant implications for statewide water agencies as they face the complex challenges of serving taxpayers and meeting requirements environmental issues during periods of rising temperatures, drought, shrinking snow cover and changes in water availability.

The case was brought in a lawsuit brought against the city of Los Angeles by Mono County and the Sierra Club and was sparked by new leases offered by the LADWP in 2018, indicating that ranchers on its 6,400 acres in Long Valley should expect little to no irrigation water when they renew, according to court documents.

The complainants argued that making significant changes to water management policies without first conducting an environmental impact review was a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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