Owens Valley Committee » OVC history

OVC history

About the committee

The Owens Valley Committee is a non-profit 501c(3) organization seeking just and sustainable management of Owens Valley land and water resources.  We envision a valley in which existing open space is protected, historic land use sustained, and depleted groundwater and surface flows restored as Los Angeles phases out its dependence on Owens Valley Water

About our board

The OVC board consists of seven members. Elections are held every January. Board members for 2016 are Mary Roper (president), Nancy Masters, Dave Wagner, Richard Potashin, Rose Masters, Kammi Foote, and Mark Lacey.

Brief History

OVC was founded in 1983.  Inyo County Supervisors were about to approve a joint water management plan with LADWP with terms unfavorable to Inyo County.  OVC’s first actions included publishing educational pamphlets critiquing the proposed agreement, speaking at public meetings, conducting phone surveys, writing letters to local newspapers, and publishing TV, radio, and newspaper ads regarding the proposed five-year agreement and conditions in the valley.

The joint management plan eventually led to the 1991 Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement (LTWA).  OVC supported the LTWA, but argued its EIR was inadequate.  OVC was then invited by the Third District Court of Appeals to submit a friend-of-the-court brief, as were several other agencies and organizations.  This led to six years of negotiations, culminating in the 1997 signing of an MOU intended to remedy the deficiencies in the LTWA’s EIR.

As a party to the 1997 MOU, OVC subsequently spent the majority of its energy trying to make sure the various mitigations in the MOU were implemented. This required, among other actions, initiating three lawsuits (in conjunction with the Sierra Club) to compel DWP to implement the Lower Owens River Project according to the terms in the LTWA and MOU.

In 2014 OVC broadened its mission statement and played a prominent role in persuading DWP to put aside plans for a two-square mile industrial-scale solar energy facility in the middle of Owens Valley.