LADWP Continues to Advance Landmark Mono Basin Restoration Project by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power May 12, 2021 Member Submitted News Last month, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commissioners voted to approve the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) environmental document for the Mono Basin Water Rights Licensing Project, taking yet another step forward in one of the largest environmental restoration projects in the Mono Basin – a region in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains that provides recreation opportunities as well as water supplies for the City of Los Angeles through the LA Aqueduct. The project will modify the spillway structure at Grant Lake Reservoir in the Eastern Sierra to deliver higher flows during specific wet year conditions through Rush Creek and into Mono Lake. Construction of the new spillway structure represents the fulfillment of LADWP’s commitment to a landmark 2013 Settlement Agreement that brought diverse stakeholders together to chart a unified path forward for the final stages of stream and habitat restoration in the Mono Basin. “The approval of the environmental documents marks yet another step in our mission to contribute to the environmental restoration and prosperity of the Mono Lake area,” said Cynthia McClain-Hill, President of the LA Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “We are proud to play a hand in implementing the infrastructure necessary to further protect California’s natural resources and ecosystems.” The MND that was approved studied potential environmental impacts of both building and operating the Grant Lake spillway structure. The studies found that short-term and long-term impacts were “less than significant” when coupled with specific mitigation measures. The MND also provides the State Water Resources Control Board with the tool it needs to adopt the proposed Water Rights Licenses 10191 and 10192 while ensuring the ongoing protection of the region’s public trust resources, as required by state law. As part of the environmental review process and in order to present an accurate and transparent CEQA document to the state, LADWP also reevaluated the 1994 lake level modeling. This reevaluation found a discrepancy between forecasted and actual elevations in Mono Lake. Learn more about the modeling here. Support for the project was echoed by regional partners including Mono Lake Committee and Cal Trout, demonstrating LADWP’s successful and collaborative approach to balance the city’s water supply needs with protecting the natural environment. You can learn more about LADWP’s restoration work and environmental stewardship of the region here.