Angeles Department of Water and Power
The goal of
LADWP’s natural resource management is to employ best management
practices (BMPs) for land and water uses that maintain water supplies to
the city while protecting water quality, habitat, biodiversity, and
threatened and endangered species throughout the watershed.
Because LADWP owns most of the bottomland in the Owens Valley,
BMPs must also incorporate recreational uses as well as sustainable
LADWP’s natural resource management concept recognizes that the Owens Valley consists of several sub-watersheds (Mono Basin, Upper Owens, Owens Gorge, Middle Owens, Lower Owens, and Owens Lake) that must be managed as a single watershed. The ecosystem within this watershed is a continuum; not a set of isolated, unrelated parts. Sub-watersheds are connected ecologically and management actions in one sub-watershed will have effects in adjacent sub-watersheds.
The Department also emphasizes the role people living and working
in the Valley play in ecosystem management.
Although the Department is the largest landowner in the Valley,
human perception, values, world views, and traditions must be taken into
account and incorporated into management goals and plans.
key to good watershed management is good land use and water management
in sub-watersheds. Land
management that prevents soil erosion and promotes vegetation cover
protects water quality and minimizes water losses. Good management of upstream land and water resources prevents
water quality and quantity problems downstream.
Since the early 1990s, LADWP has focused on natural resource projects that restore riparian vegetation along the Owens River and tributaries as well as the rehabilitation of degraded or dewatered stream reaches throughout the watershed. In addition to water quality and water quantity benefits from these projects, plant and animal biodiversity has increased, fish and wildlife have increased with more and improved habitat, there are more acres of wetlands in the watershed then in decades past.
The overall Owens Valley ecosystem, dysfunctional for many
decades because of water diversion, is gradually being restored to a
functional ecosystem as river reaches in the Owens Gorge and the Lower
Owens River are re-watered. Management
of natural resources within a watershed context also prevents or
minimizes conflicts with state and federal agencies and environmental
groups over city water supplies because management is seen as holistic
can point to numerous successes in ecosystem restoration throughout the
Owens Valley. The
Department, through real-time management experience, is today one of the
leading institutions in ecosystem restoration and watershed management.
Research performed by the Department in support of its management
has advanced ecosystem restoration science and contributed materially to
the understanding of natural processes and ecosystem function at the
watershed level. The
approaches and concepts LADWP has developed in the Owens Valley
watershed are a model for other watersheds, and, in fact, set the
standards against which other watershed projects around the world can be
LADWP’s commitment to improving the Owens Valley watershed has not gone unrecognized. Through publications in scientific journals, presentations at professional conferences, newspaper articles, television and radio shows, videos, public forums and small focus groups, the renaissance taking place in the Valley is being heard.Follow the links in the menu at the left to see short summaries that describe some of the Department’s primary projects by sub-watersheds.