01 STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD
03 PUBLIC HEARING
06 REGARDING STREAM AND WATERFOWL HABITAT RESTORATION PLANS
06 AND GRANT LAKE OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT PLAN SUBMITTED BY
07 THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER PURSUANT TO
07 THE REQUIREMENTS OF WATER RIGHT DECISION 1631
13 HELD AT:
14 STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD
14 PAUL BONDERSON BUILDING
15 901 P STREET, FIRST FLOOR HEARING ROOM
15 SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
18 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1997
18 9:00 A.M.
24 Reported by: ESTHER F. WIATRE
25 CSR NO. 1564
01 BOARD MEMBERS:
02 JOHN CAFFREY, CHAIRMAN
03 JOHN W. BROWN (A.M. ONLY)
03 MARY JANE FORSTER
04 STAFF MEMBERS:
05 JAMES CANADAY, ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST
06 GERALD E. JOHNS, ASSISTANT DIVISION CHIEF
08 DAN FRINK
09 LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER:
10 KRONICK MOSKOVITZ TIEDEMANN & GIRARD
10 400 Capitol Mall, 27th Floor
11 Sacramento, California 95814
11 BY: THOMAS W. BIRMINGHAM, ESQ.
12 JANET GOLDSMITH, ESQ.
13 BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT:
14 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
15 BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
15 BISHOP RESOURCE AREA
16 785 North Main Street, Suite E
16 Bishop, California 93514
17 BY: TERRY L. RUSSI
18 PEOPLE FOR MONO BASIN PRESERVATION:
19 KATHLEEN MALONEY BELLOMO
19 P.O. Box 201
20 Lee Vining, California 93541
21 ARCULARIUS RANCH:
22 FRANK HASELTON, LSA
22 1 Park Plaza, Suite 500
23 Irvine, California 92610
02 CALIFORNIA TROUT, INC.:
03 NATURAL HERITAGE INSTITUTE
03 114 Sansome Street, Suite 1200
04 San Francisco, California 94014
04 BY: RICHARD ROOS-COLLINS, ESQ.
05 CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME:
06 NANCEE MURRAY, ESQ.
07 1416 Ninth Street
07 Sacramento, California 95814
08 McDONOUGH HOLLAND & ALLEN
09 555 Capitol Mall, Ninth Floor
09 Sacramento, California 95814
10 BY: VIRGINIA A. CAHILL, ESQ.
11 CALIFORNIA STATE LANDS COMMISSION:
11 CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION:
12 MARY J. SCOONOVER, ESQ.
13 1300 I Street
13 Sacramento, California 95814
14 MICHAEL VALENTINE
15 NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY:
16 MONO LAKE COMMITTEE:
17 MORRISON & FORSTER
17 425 Market Street
18 San Francisco, California
18 BY: F. BRUCE DODGE, ESQ.
19 PANEL MEMBERS:
20 PETER VORSTER
21 LARRY L. HARRISON
21 SCOTT STINE
03 NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY/MONO LAKE COMMITTEE
04 DIRECT EXAMINATION
05 BY MR. DODGE 1117
07 BY MR. RUSSI 1155
07 BY MS. BELLOMO 1169
08 BY MR. HASELTON 1219
08 BY MS. ROOS-COLLINS 1221
09 BY MS. CAHILL 1234
11 AFTERNOON SESSION 1219
01 SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
02 FEBRUARY 24, 1997
04 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Good morning and welcome back to all
05 the parties. Later in the day, we may be joined by Mr.
06 Stubchaer and Ms. Forster.
07 Let me also say before we get into today's proceeding
08 that some of you been inquiring as to the well-being of Mr.
09 Del Piero. I will just let you know that he has been
10 allowed to go home. He is home, resting. The last we heard
11 on Friday, they do not know yet if he is going to need a
12 second surgery. We will try to keep you posted as we find
13 more things out.
14 With that, I was going to ask Mr. Frink what the order
15 is now with regard to conveniencing the parties on their
16 direct and the cross-examination that we are going to
17 schedule for today.
18 Mr. Frink.
19 MR. FRINK: Mr. Caffrey, I believe Mr. Dodge has a
20 panel of three witnesses who we are going to lead off with
21 this morning.
22 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: That would then be Mr. Vorster, Mr.
23 Stine, and Mr. Harrison; is that -- do I have the right
24 group here?
25 MR. DODGE: Yes, you do.
01 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: There had been some discussion
02 about, perhaps, Mr. Roos-Collins going first with Mr.
03 Vorster. I take it that you are going to do all your
04 witnesses together?
05 MR. DODGE: The way we left it last Friday, Mr.
06 Roos-Collins and I were to discuss the matter and reach
07 resolution, and we have. The resolution is that, on behalf
08 of Audubon and on the Mono Lake Committee, this panel of
09 three would go forward and be cross-examined and then be
10 finished. Then we would move on to the Cal Trout panel.
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Mr. Dodge.
12 I always made, at the request of Mr. Birmingham, a
13 change in the order of the cross-examination, and there was
14 no objection last time, and we will take the City of Los
15 Angeles at the end of the grouping, as we go down through
16 the list.
17 Thank you all for your indulgence. Let me also repeat
18 something that I've said a number of times. First of all,
19 with all due deference, because it's clear to me that
20 everybody is making an attempt at brevity. This is a
21 complex subject, and sometimes that is not easy to do.
22 Nonetheless, I will repeat for those of you who have not
23 been with us. We are all here at different times as
24 different parties appear. It is essential that you be as
25 brief as you can. Not only to the witnesses in your
01 testimony, but also to the attorneys in their questioning.
02 We do allow up to an hour for presentation of direct
03 testimony. It is obligatory. If you don't have an hour's
04 worth of information in summary form to give the Board, you
05 don't need to feel that you need to fill up the hour. I am
06 sure everybody would appreciate that.
07 If I may be so bold as to cite an example, I think the
08 Board appreciated Mr. Dodge's approach the other day, where
09 he brought up his expert witnesses, and they each took about
10 ten minutes to summarize. Then we could get to the meat of
11 things in the cross-examination and, of course, there is
12 always rebuttal to follow.
13 We noted that the witnesses have a lot of expertise.
14 So does the Board to some degree. We are full-time Board.
15 We read everything. Please be mindful of the fact that the
16 direct testimony is your opportunity to just summarize and
17 hit the high points. As I said earlier, it appears as
18 though that the panels up till now have been making a real
19 attempt to do that. It is appreciated, and please do
21 All right then. Is there anything I need to point
22 out? Let me ask, before we get to that, Mr. Frink, have all
23 of these witnesses taken the oath that are going to appear
25 MR. FRINK: I don't believe so.
01 (Oath administered by Chairman Caffrey.)
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you. Gentlemen, sit down.
03 Mr. Dodge, sir.
05 DIRECT EXAMINATION BY
06 NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY/MONO LAKE COMMITTEE
07 BY MR. DODGE
08 MR. DODGE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
09 Mr. Vorster, I am going to ask you to confirm that
10 Exhibit R-NAS/MLC-7 is your written testimony and to
11 summarize it for the Board. And then I will ask Mr.
12 Harrison to confirm that Exhibit R-NAS/MLC-1 is your written
13 testimony and to summarize that. And finally, Dr. Stine, I
14 ask you to confirm that Exhibit R-NAS/MLC-5 is your written
15 testimony and summarize that. And we will start with Mr.
17 MR. VORSTER: Good morning, Mr. Caffrey, Mr. Brown, and
18 the assembled staff and others in this proceeding. My name
19 is Peter Vorster. I was extensively involved in the
20 preparation plan through the TAGs, the ad hoc flow
21 subcommittee, and the submittal of extensive written
22 comments. I appreciate that DWP, in particular Bill
23 Hazencamp, Steve McBain, Dave Allen, Jim Perralt, and Peter
24 Kavounas, conducted a process in an open and cooperative
01 There are a couple of minor corrections in my
02 testimony, which I compiled in a sheet that is being handed
03 out currently. The most important is that Attachment 5A,
04 which should have been part of Attachment 5, was
05 inadvertently left out.
06 My testimony will cover the following subject matters.
07 First, water rights in the Mill-Wilson system, Mill-Wilson
08 hydrology and water management, water requirements for
09 Thompson and Conway Meadows, a comparison of the different
10 channel maintenance flow recommendations, the adequacy of
11 DWP channel maintenance flow recommendations, and the export
12 impact of the recommended flow regimes.
13 First, I want to quickly review the water rights of the
14 Mill-Wilson system. I have reviewed the November 30, 1914
15 Water Rights Decree for Mill Creek and subsequent
16 conveyances and compilations of the decree by the
17 Department of Water and Power and Southern California
18 Edison. I enlarged Attachment 6 from my testimony, which is
19 behind me here, which is a compilation of the water rights
20 with minor corrections noted in my written testimony. This
21 compilation was prepared by Scott Stine in Appendix F, as in
22 Frank, in the DWP's Waterfowl Plan.
23 The water rights to Mill Creek are held by four
24 entities: Conway Ranch, LADWP, U.S. Forest Service, and Jan
25 Simis who has a minor 1.0 cfs right. The Conway right
01 consists of both the Conway land and the Mattly lands. The
02 Conway lands, as I am showing in R-SLC/DPR-424. The Conway
03 lands enclosed by this large figure and the Mattly lands
04 over here.
05 The Conway lands have a 14 cfs right, and the Mattly
06 lands a 4 cfs right.
07 Southern California Edison does not have a water right
08 to Mill Creek. It's obligated to convey the water to
09 downstream water right holders, although it does have a
10 right to store inflow above 70 cfs.
11 There is no right to flows in Wilson Creek itself.
12 Wilson Creek is a conduit for delivering water to irrigation
13 ditches on Conway and DeChambeau Ranch. And, in fact, it
14 was originally referred to as the DeChambeau Ditch.
15 In recent years, nearly all of the flow in Wilson Creek
16 through the Conway Ranch is water in excess of the demands
17 of the water right holders, since the Forest Service is
18 generally not using its right on DeChambeau Ranch, and the
19 Conway Ranch has no major diversions from Wilson Creek on
20 the ranch property itself.
21 What I mean is that -- this is Conway Ranch.
22 Diversions to the ranch historically occurred from the
23 Conway Ditch, the Upper Conway Ditch, the Lower Conway
24 Ditch, and there are actually two ditches that take water
25 from the south of we call Wilson Creek.
01 Next I want to briefly describe the Mill-Wilson
02 hydrology and water management. I compiled a series of
03 spreadsheets which Mr. Riese will be flipping over. They
04 are just enlargements of the attachments. These
05 spreadsheets provide a snapshot of the historic actual flows
06 and diversions in the Mill-Wilson system in different year
07 types, and the flows that would be expected if LADWP's or
08 the Mono Lake Committee's proposal for providing instream
09 flows in Mill Creek is implemented.
10 DWP's proposal is to dedicate its Mill Creek water
11 rights and the dedication of other unappropriative water
12 that may be available during the fall and winter months to
13 accomplish the rewatering of Mill Creek.
14 The Mono Lake Committee proposal is to restore close to
15 the natural flows of Mill Creek, but impaired by Lundy
16 Reservoir, in order to restore the waterfowl habitat in Mill
17 Creek to the level recommended by the waterfowl restoration
18 scientists, and to restore a naturally functioning stream,
19 ecosystem, and bottomlands.
20 Mono Lake Committee proposes to return all of the water
21 to Mill Creek except that which is necessary to maintain
22 Wilson Creek riparian quarter through the Conway Ranch and
23 to maintain the Simis and Thompson Ranch Meadows and trees.
24 Mono Lake Committee proposes to accomplish this through the
25 purchase and dedication of the Conway Ranch water rights,
01 the dedication of DWP's water rights to Mill Creek, to
02 instream flow, and to the modification of the Mill Creek
03 Return Ditch, if necessary, to transport the 70 second
05 The spreadsheets, which are behind me, show the mean
06 monthly flows in cubic feet per second for dry, normal, and
07 wet runoff year at the available measuring sites for key
08 points of demarcation in the Mill-Wilson system.
09 The meaning and derivation of every line in the
10 spreadsheets is explained in Attachment 5. Behind me is
11 actually a summary spreadsheet. The detailed spreadsheets
12 are contained in my testimony.
13 The spreadsheets allow the user to specify certain
14 variables in order to model alternative water management
15 scenarios, including the capacity of the Mill Creek Return
16 Ditch, the losses in terms of percentage of flow in the
17 return ditch, the amount of DWP's irrigation right required
18 to keep Thompson Ranch Meadow green in excess of 1.0 cfs,
19 and, fourth, the amount of water to maintain Wilson Creek
20 riparian quarter through the Conway Ranch. These are all
21 variables that can be specified by the user and changed in
22 order to model different scenarios.
23 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Excuse me, Mr. Vorster.
24 Ms. Bellomo, did you rise for a purpose?
25 MS. BELLOMO: No, thank you, Chairman Caffrey. I am
01 trying to look at the -- I am sorry.
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Don't be sorry. I just wasn't sure,
03 and that's perfectly all right.
04 Anybody who has trouble seeing this, if they want to
05 draw a little bit closer, please feel free.
06 Excuse me, Mr. Vorster. Go ahead.
07 MR. VORSTER: The scenarios are differentiated -- in my
08 testimony I provided three scenarios, and they are
09 differentiated by the assumed capacity of the return ditch
10 and the irrigation water for Thompson Ranch. Since my
11 testimony was prepared, we received the testimony from
12 Southern California Edison, which indicated that they
13 estimate the capacity of the return ditch is about 12 cfs,
14 as opposed to 16 cfs I assumed for the purpose of my
16 As a consequence, I prepared a Scenario 4, which is
17 exactly the same as Scenario 1 except for the return ditch
18 capacity of 12 cfs. I do have that available and the
19 summary spreadsheet is actually up behind Scenario 1.
20 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Mr. Caffrey.
21 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Birmingham.
22 MR. BIRMINGHAM: We would have an objection to the
23 introduction of Scenario 4 inasmuch as it was not submitted
24 in the testimony on the date required by the State Board.
25 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Is there anybody wishing to offer a
01 showing as to why I should not sustain Mr. Birmingham's
03 MR. DODGE: We have always been under the assumption,
04 and have been told, that the capacity of the return ditch
05 was 16 cfs. And then after all the testimony comes, in SCE
06 comes with its testimony in response to my questions, and
07 they tell us it is now as low as 12. So, it is new
08 information to us, and we thought the Board ought to be made
09 aware of the implications of that. We can do it in
10 rebuttal, if you wish.
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Ms. Bellomo.
12 MS. BELLOMO: Just ask for clarification, Chairman
13 Caffrey, I didn't understand Southern California Edison as
14 having provided testimony in this proceeding. I think we
15 should be referenced to the documents that is supposedly
16 testimony. I think I recall seeing a letter or memorandum
17 or something, but maybe there is testimony that I am not
18 aware of.
19 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I think the point here is, if I am
20 understanding your concern, Ms. Bellomo, is that the direct
21 testimony can, or rather presentation of direct testimony --
22 well, I am going to correct myself. I was confusing myself
23 with procedure for rebuttal from counsel, what I was about
25 Mr. Frink, can you remind if and when we had anything
01 in direct from Southern California Edison?
02 MR. FRINK: All I have seen on the subject is a letter
03 or memo from SCE responding to an inquiry from Mr. Dodge
04 regarding the capacity of the ditch.
05 I would say, though, that I don't believe that he
06 formally asked for that information until shortly before the
07 exhibits were due, and, certainly, we didn't have any
08 request to subpoena the information from SCE.
09 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Mr. Frink is absolutely correct. What
10 happened was Mr. Dodge made an inquiry of Southern
11 California Edison so that he could submit evidence
12 concerning the capacity of the return ditch in connection
13 with his case in chief. If he did not obtain that
14 information early enough to permit Mr. Vorster to conduct an
15 analysis, based upon that information, we should not be
16 prejudiced because of their failure to get the information
18 What happened was Mr. Dodge got the information from
19 SCE. He submitted with his direct testimony and Mr.
20 Vorster's direct testimony, and based upon that new
21 information, Mr. Vorster apparently has conducted a
22 different analysis, which should have been presented with
23 the written testimony at the time Mr. Dodge submitted.
24 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Dodge, you had made an offering
25 a moment ago.
01 MR. DODGE: Excuse me, Mr. Birmingham has misstated the
03 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Go ahead.
04 MR. DODGE: I did not get the testimony from SCE in a
05 timely matter, which is why I submitted my Exhibit 3, which
06 is just the questions I posed to them, and Exhibit 3-A,
07 which is when I got the answers, which was after Mr. Vorster
08 had finished his analysis. And I believe it was Exhibit 3-A
09 that was filed a couple days late for that very reason.
10 MR. BIRMINGHAM: In fact, Exhibit 3-A was filed late,
11 and I understand Mr. Dodge's difficulty in getting that
12 information from Southern California Edison. And so,
13 therefore, we do not object to his having filed that a
14 couple days late, because we have had plenty of time to
15 analyze it for purposes of examination. But Mr. Vorster,
16 based upon that, is now offering brand new evidence that we
17 have not had an opportunity to analyze, and under the
18 Board's previous rulings concerning the submission of
19 evidence for party's case in chief, this ought to be
21 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I am going to rule here in a second,
22 but I am going to give Mr. Dodge one more chance to --
23 Nothing else, Mr. Dodge?
24 MR. DODGE: Nothing.
25 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Roos-Collins, do you have
01 something you wanted to add?
02 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Yes, Mr. Chairman.
03 If you sustain the objection, then one or several of us
04 may simply ask Mr. Vorster the same question on cross.
05 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Well, I was going to observe that,
06 and you also have rebuttal as an opportunity. I am going to
07 -- Ms. Scoonover, briefly.
08 MS. SCOONOVER: Chairman Caffrey, the only point I want
09 to make, was I believe that the Southern California Edison
10 testimony is in the record as it was stipulated to when we
11 met previously. So that shouldn't be an issue, whether it
12 is or is not.
13 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I don't know that that is the issue.
14 The issue is, it is part of somebody's direct, per se, and
15 which you can deal with in cross-examination because it is
16 in the record, I would assume.
17 So, I am going to sustain the objection. I know that a
18 skilled attorney, such as Mr. Dodge, has perhaps other
19 avenues to bring his information into the hearing, and I
20 know --
21 MR. DODGE: Now you are putting me on the spot.
22 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I know a skilled attorney like Mr.
23 Birmingham has also the ability to object in the future.
24 We are going to sustain the objection as this point.
25 Please proceed.
01 MR. VORSTER: Thank you.
02 The following observations about historic flows and
03 diversions in the Mill-Wilson system can be made. First,
04 the amount and seasonality of historic flows and diversions
05 shown in spreadsheets are consistent with the recent
06 measurements and observations, even though they show 1950,
07 '52 -- '51, '52 and 1960. Those years were just chosen as
08 representative hydrology of wet, normal, and dry year.
09 However, the way things -- the diversions and SCE's
10 operations are consistent with what is shown in the
12 The only exception to this is that in the last decade
13 the upper Thompson diversions for the irrigation of lands
14 south of Mill Creek, in particular for Simis Ranch, are
15 substantially less and have been entirely eliminated in the
16 past few years.
17 Secondly, the differences in the Mill Creek unimpaired
18 runoff between the different year types is most pronounced
19 in snow melt months of May through August. For example, the
20 mean monthly flow in July, the wet year, is nearly five
21 times greater than the mean monthly flow of July in dry
22 year. Contrast this to the less than 25 percent difference
23 in the flows in November.
24 Thirdly, Mill Creek gains an estimated average monthly
25 flow of 4 to 10 cfs downstream of Lundy Reservoir from a
01 combination of factors. Lundy Reservoir would be off the
02 map here on Exhibit R-SLC/DPR-424 in the reach down to
03 approximately Highway 395. It gains flow from tributary
04 inflow and groundwater accretion. Below Highway 395 down
05 past the County Road, Mill Creek is a losing stream. And
06 then down near the shoreline of Mono Lake itself, down here,
07 springs would reemerge.
08 I assume, consistent with available but limited number
09 of measurements and estimates, the losses are equal to the
10 gains. In higher runoff months and higher runoff years,
11 losses probably have been slightly less than the gains.
12 I would note that if water is flowing consistently in
13 the multiple channels in the revegetated Mill Creek
14 bottomlands, the losses will increase in the future over
15 what I have shown in the spreadsheets.
16 Fourth, the diversion in the Thompson Ditches and
17 Conway and Mattly Ditches occurred on seasonal bases for
18 irrigation purposes. Thus, normally there were no
19 diversions between November and March, and in many years
20 there were no diversions between October and April.
21 Fifth, flows to start discharging from the power plant,
22 that are not diverted from the Conway and Mattly Ranch
23 Ditches, flow in Wilson Creek and provide a year-round flow
24 through the Conway Ranch in most occasions. A combination
25 of losses in and diversions from Wilson Creek cause it to
01 periodically dry up downstream from the Conway Ranch.
02 So most of the time there is year-round flow from the
03 power plant through the Conway Ranch, but in this section
04 there is a losing stream and in the drier months, especially
05 dryer years, this is often totally dry of surface flow.
06 An exception to the normal year-round flow in Wilson
07 Creek occurred during the period 1962 to '68 when the
08 Lundy Power Plant was not in service, which meant
09 irrigation water for the Conway, Mattly, and DeChambeau
10 Ranches had to be diverted from Mill Creek, directly from
11 Mill Creek. More water was diverted from Mill Creek in the
12 late fall and winter from 1962 to '68. So Wilson Creek did
13 not have that supply from the power plant outflow.
14 I assume a small amount of accretion occurs in the
15 reach of Wilson Creek through Conway Ranch, but for most of
16 its length it stayed dry if there was no water being
17 discharged from the power plant.
18 The following observations can be made about the
19 expected flows in the Mill-Wilson system if Los Angeles
20 Department of Water and Power or Mono Lake Committee's
21 proposals are implemented. First, without the successful
22 appropriation of the October through April water from the
23 Wilson system, DWP's proposal to dedicate its existing water
24 rights result in little or no flow in Mill Creek below the
25 County Road in the late summer, fall, and winter.
01 The County Road, again, being down near Mono Lake. So,
02 in this reach here, from the bottomlands down to Mono Lake,
03 that reach would be dry under DWP's proposal just dedicating
04 its irrigation water right.
05 The testimony of Scott Stine elaborates the implication
06 of DWP's proposals for flows and waterfowl habitat in Mill
07 Creek. Even if DWP is successful with the appropriation of
08 the unused water in the October through April period, the
09 flows in Mill Creek below the County Road are very, very low
10 in September, from 4 percent to 44 percent of the impaired
11 flow at Lundy Reservoir. September is a key month for
12 migratory waterfowl in the Mono Basin, according to the
13 testimony of Fritz Reid.
14 Because of the assumed limited capacity of the return
15 ditch and the Conway diversion right, DWP's proposals result
16 in snow melt season flows that are from one-quarter to
17 one-half of the available Mill Week runoff. Upgrading the
18 ditch, return ditch, allows for greater flows in the snow
19 melt season.
20 Flows, however, will always be considerably less than
21 what is available at the Lundy Reservoir because of the
22 assumed limitation that DWP cannot dedicate more than 38 cfs
23 to Mill Creek. As a result, the flow is insufficient for
24 rewatering of the bottomland channels as Dr. Stine's later
25 testimony will discuss.
01 A restriction in the return ditch capacity to 12 cfs
02 will reduce the flows in Mill Creek with the DWP proposals
03 whenever the available runoff is greater than 12 cfs in the
04 October through April period, or 24 cfs in the May through
05 September period. As can be seen, if you compare Scenario 4
06 with Scenario 1. But I guess at this point Scenario 4 is
07 not -- I won't refer to it. I just would observe that in a
08 normal year this occurs in 7 out of 12 months of the year.
09 Next, I want to talk about the water requirements for
10 the Conway and Thompson Meadows. A very rough estimate of
11 the water requirements for the Conway Ranch and Thompson
12 Ranch Meadows. Again, Conway Ranch. I am referring to this
13 as the Conway Ranch Meadow, both north and south of Wilson
14 Creek. And I am going to draw -- this map did not
15 originally have Thompson Ranch on it, so I am going to draw
16 it in here. This County Road is actually the very old
17 County Road. The current County Road comes in about here,
18 and so, the Thompson Meadow -- I am just going to draw a
19 circle here to roughly represent Thompson.
20 So that rough estimate of the water requirement can be
21 made by multiplying the irrigated acreage times the
22 consumptive use of the meadow grass, which is approximately
23 two feet and by doubling that amount to take in account the
24 relative inefficiency of flood irrigation, you can come up
25 with a rough water requirement. For 350 acres of Conway
01 Ranch, the calculation results in an average growing season
02 requirement of about 4.5 cfs. That requirement can be
03 entirely supplied by the diversions from Virginia Creek,
04 accretion in the drainage used by the Virginia Creek
05 diversion and natural spring flow and accretion on the
06 property, and occasional peak snow melt season supplied from
07 the ephemeral drainages that drain onto the ranch.
08 In other words, no Mill Creek water is needed. In
09 fact, the Conway Ranch Meadow north of Wilson Creek, which
10 represents 85 percent of the total meadow acreage, has not
11 had any Mill Creek water for the last decade, relying
12 entirely on the Virginia Creek diversion and natural sources
13 on the property.
14 A similar calculation for the hundred acres of Thompson
15 Ranch currently irrigated results in an average growing
16 season requirement of about 1.3 cfs, which can be supplied
17 from a combination of Mill Creek, springs and seepage on the
18 edge of the property and runoff from the DeChambeau
19 Creek. I want to emphasize these are both rough estimates
20 of the irrigation water requirements; the actual amount
21 depends on non climatic factors, such as topography and the
22 water delivery system to the meadows.
23 The main point to appreciate is that it takes very
24 little or no water from Mill Creek to maintain viable
25 pasture on the Conway and Thompson Meadows.
01 Next, I want to turn to my stream testimony. And
02 first, I want to compare the channel maintenance flows that
03 have been recommended over the years, and Attachment 10,
04 which is a blowup from my testimony, compares the channel
05 maintenance flows. I would note that DWP's current
06 recommendations are far greater than their 1994
07 recommendations, which were based upon analysis by Dr.
09 DWP's current recommendations are still guided by a
10 philosophy as expressed by Dr. Beschta, that providing the
11 impaired flows is sufficient for restoration. That
12 contrasts with a philosophy held by others, including the
13 stream scientists, Dr. Trush and Dr. Ridenhour and Chris
14 Hunter, that indicates that the unimpaired flow should be
15 used as a guide since those are the flows that provide the
16 habitat that we are trying to restore, in which we see
17 evolving today because of high flows in 1995, for example.
18 I do want to emphasize, though, that the stream
19 scientists' recommendations are not the unimpaired flows.
20 They are, in fact, substantially less than the unimpaired
21 flows in Rush Creek, as can be seen in my Attachment 11.
22 On Lee Vining Creek, their recommendations are, by
23 definition, the specified flow or whatever the peak flows at
24 the DWP facility, which is impaired flow. The Southern
25 California Edison reservoirs on Lee Vining Creek do not
01 impair the flows nearly as much as on Rush Creek. So, that
02 is why the steam scientists were comfortable in stating the
03 recommendations in those terms.
04 This then shows the different recommendations in
05 comparing the cfs magnitude recommendations with the
06 unimpaired peak flows in the different years types, as well
07 as the number of days in which flows exceeded the
08 recommendations. The number of days that are recommended
09 are shown in the light characters and the bold are what the
10 unimpaired regime would provide.
11 Next, I want to address the inadequacy of DWP's
12 recommended channel maintenance flows. The DWP flows are
13 inadequate both in wetter and drier years. In wetter years
14 the magnitude that is recommended is less than what would
15 mobilize the bed and inundate the low terraces in nearly
16 every single year. With the DWP flows, this 500 cfs or
17 greater flow requirement, as testified to by Dr. Trush, has
18 the opportunity to occur only about eight percent of the
19 years, or the extreme year category.
20 (Ms. Forster enters.)
21 MR. VORSTER: With unimpaired flows, flows of 500 cfs,
22 occurred in about half of the years. The second issue in
23 wetter years is that a delivery mechanism is highly
24 problematic. The augmentation of Rush from Lee Vining Creek
25 must occur in 40 percent of the years with DWP's flow
01 regime. There are five major problems with it, as
02 experienced in 1996 highlights.
03 First, is questionable reliability. Even if DWP fixes
04 the gates, that makes the conduit overflow, there is still a
05 problem with the Lee Vining diversion facility. It is not
06 responsive to the flow fluctuations that occur upstream of
07 it, and we saw that in 1996 when Southern California Edison
08 had to suddenly reduce their flows by a hundred cfs and
09 DWP's facility did not respond. And thus there was a
10 violation of D-1631.
11 The second issue is that DWP's plan does not establish
12 criteria for determining peak flows and diversions. The
13 criteria that they provided in the May 1966 letter and
14 subsequent conference calls were subsequently violated
15 during the augmentation procedure. The criteria
16 transmitted orally included forecasting and backcasting
17 procedures which may result in the diversion of the actual
18 peak or waiting so long that the flows dropped to D-1631
19 minimums and considerably delayed Rush peaks after the
20 natural flows have peaked.
21 Third, it requires coordination with Southern
22 California Edison, which by the admission of both Southern
23 California Edison and DWP, they could have done a better job
24 of coordinating. And the telemetry system that DWP relies
25 upon for transmitting data about Lee Vining Creek releases
01 and diversions, actually had a breakdown right at the point
02 in time when flows were decreasing on Lee Vining Creek and
03 diversions occurring.
04 Fourth, the delays in Rush Creek peak occur because of
05 the augmentation. And, for example, in 1996 the peak flow
06 in Rush Creek occurred three weeks after the natural peak,
07 as shown in Attachment 8.
08 This line, here on Attachment 8, shows the unimpaired
09 peak occurring in early June and the actual peak occurred
10 three weeks later in late June, as a result of the
12 Fifth, it dramatically reduces the backend of the peak
13 hydrograph on Lee Vining Creek because it shaves off 50
14 percent or more of the flow and can cause Lee Vining Creek
15 to be at the D-1631 minimum flow in an extreme year.
16 The augmentation procedure invites controversy and
17 potential problems for the restoration of both Rush and Lee
18 Vining Creek. I maintain that only the repair of all the
19 involved facilities, establishment of written operating
20 criteria, careful monitoring of the creeks and diversions
21 with real time and publicly accessible data, and the
22 establishment and enforcement of penalties for violations,
23 will ensure the proper operation of the augmentation
25 A permanent outlet from Grant avoids these problems and
01 is the only reliable way to provide the recommended flows in
02 60 percent of the years recommended by the stream
04 In drier years, there are a number of problems with
05 DWP's recommendations. They do not provide restoration
06 rationale for reducing the recommendations made by the ad
07 hoc flow subcommittee in over half the years. The only
08 rationale they provided is fear of export reduction, which,
09 as we will see, is possibly unfounded.
10 In over half of the years, the magnitude of the DWP
11 flow is less than the peak flows that nature would provide
12 in every single year, and often provides several times a
14 With the existing facility, only one peak will occur.
15 In 40 percent of the years with the DWP regime, it is
16 less than the impaired flows, as Dr. Beschta testified, and
17 dramatically less than the unimpaired flows as I show in
18 Attachment 11. In these same 40 percent of the years, the
19 recommended peak will be a hundred cfs or less, which Dr.
20 Trush stated is necessary to attainment -- excuse me. In
21 the same 40 percent of the years, the recommended peak flow
22 will be a hundred cfs or less, while Dr. Trush stated that,
23 to attain the attributes of incipient mobility and bankful
24 flows on average once a year, the flows should be in the
25 range of 350 to over 400 cfs.
01 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Excuse me, Mr. Caffrey.
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Birmingham.
03 MR. BIRMINGHAM: I wonder if Mr. Vorster could be
04 asked to restrict his commentary to the written testimony
05 that was submitted, as opposed to the testimony that the
06 Board has heard since the beginning of the hearing.
07 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Yes. You make a good point. The
08 direct should be honed to -- the oral testimony should be
09 honed to what you submitted in written fashion, Mr.
10 Vorster. Going beyond that is something that is reserved
11 for cross-examination, if you will.
12 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Well, in fact, sir, I think what he is
13 trying to do is rebut the testimony that has been submitted
14 by other witnesses during the oral presentation and their
15 cross-examination, and it is our perspective that that ought
16 to be reserved for rebuttal.
17 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Vorster, please try to stay on
18 your --
19 MR. VORSTER: I will.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: -- actual, direct that you have
21 submitted. Your attorneys can get to the meat of some of
22 the other things through their techniques at a later time.
23 MR. VORSTER: I will not refer to Dr. Trush or Dr.
24 Beschta anymore in my direct testimony.
25 Lastly, I want to refer to export reduction that would
01 occur with the different flow regime. In the transition
02 period, in particular, the ad hoc flow subcommittee flows
03 would cause Grant to drop slightly more in any one year,
04 approximately 2 to 4,000 acre-feet, but have no export
05 impact, according to the Grant Lake Operations and
06 Management Plan submitted by DWP.
07 With consecutive drier years, Grant would drop with
08 both the DWP flows and the ad hoc flows, but there would not
09 be any export reduction unless there was a minimum Grant
10 storage level, such as the D-1631 target minimum of 11 and a
11 half thousand acre-feet that needs to be maintained.
12 So, for example, if Grant started the 1987 to '92
13 drought sequence at its target operating level of 35,000
14 acre-feet, the ad hoc flows would maintain the Grant storage
15 above 11 and a half thousand acre-feet and, thus, would not
16 require an export reduction. A 1976-77 drought sequence
17 would cause Grant to drop slightly below the 11 and a half
18 thousand acre-feet level. So, an export reduction of about
19 a thousand acre-feet would be required to maintain Grant
20 above that level.
21 In the post transition period, the export reductions
22 with the stream scientists' October 1995 flows were
23 estimated using the Los Angeles Aqueduct Simulation Model,
24 or LAASM model, to be about 4 cfs or 3,000 acre-feet on an
25 average annual basis. I show those calculations in my
01 comments that are provided on DWP's draft plan.
02 I estimate that with the ad hoc flows the export
03 reduction is on average of about 3 cfs per year, and even
04 with the current DWP flow recommendations, the export
05 reduction would be about 2 cfs on average per year.
06 That is it for my testimony.
07 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Mr. Vorster.
08 Who is next?
09 MR. DODGE: Mr. Harrison.
10 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Harrison, good morning, sir.
11 MR. HARRISON: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My
12 name is Larry Harrison. I am a registered civil engineer in
13 the State of California, and I have been an independent,
14 consulting engineer since early in 1995 when I left
15 employment with PG&E.
16 Prior to becoming a consultant, I was employed by
17 Pacific and Gas Electric Company for a period of almost 32
18 years in various engineering capacities, including project
19 management, supervision, contract administration, field
20 engineering, siting settings, some design, licensing,
21 permits, and economic studies. The types of projects I've
22 worked on, all with PG&E, included hydroelectric, fossil
23 fuel, steam power plants, nuclear plants, liquefied natural
24 gas, and also sediment management, and erosion control
01 I have authored more than a dozen papers on sediment
02 management, reservoir sediment management, and watershed
03 erosion control and watershed management.
04 My experience in Mono Basin is limited. I conducted
05 two field trips to the Mono Basin area to observe streams
06 and facilities. First trip in March of 1996, March 7th and
07 8th, and also again October 3rd and 4th in 1996.
08 While there, I observed tributaries to Mono Lake,
09 including Lee Vining Creek, Walker Creek, Parker Creek, Rush
10 Creek, Mill Creek, and Wilson Creek, and also various
11 structures of the L.A. Department of Water and Power and
12 Southern California Edison Company. I looked at the
13 diversion dams at Lee Vining, Walker, and Parker Creeks. I
14 looked at portions of the Lee Vining Conduit, Grant Dam, and
15 its appurtenances at Grant Lake, Mono Gate Return Ditch,
16 Lundy Power House and Tailrace Ditch, and also the Mill
17 Creek Return Ditch.
18 Also, on March 8, I participated in a field meeting
19 with Southern California Edison representatives, Messers
20 Bruce Almond and Joe Valoma [phon]. They told us about the
21 operations of the Lundy Power House and the Tailrace Ditch
22 and the flows, also, at the Mill Creek Return Ditch.
23 I have reviewed several DWP documents, including the
24 Mono Basin Stream and Stream Channel Restoration Plan, the
25 Grant Lake Operations and Management Plan, and the Mono Gate
01 Number 1 Return Ditch Geotechnical Stability Evaluation.
02 I have been retained early in 1996 by the Mono Lake
03 Committee and California Trout, California Trout,
04 Incorporated, to do three specific tasks. And my
05 involvement in the program, Mono Lake, is limited to those
07 One was to investigate options for providing 600 cfs
08 channel maintenance flows in Rush Creek. Second task would
09 be to investigate options for improving sediment passage at
10 Lee Vining, Walker, and Parker Diversion Dams. And the
11 third task area was to investigate options for increasing
12 flows in Lower Mill Creek by diverting up to 70 cubic feet
13 per second from Wilson Creek.
14 In regards to the first task, the Rush Creek channel
15 maintenance flows, I reviewed DWP's proposals for channel
16 maintenance flows, and I was also asked to recommend which
17 alternative would be the most reliable, and to estimate the
18 conceptual cost of the most reliable option.
19 DWP proposed four options. The first to install three
20 42-inch siphon pipes over the spillway or in the spillway at
21 Grant Dam. Pipes 2500 feet long with a capacity, total
22 capacity of 300 cfs.
23 I believe this option would be unlikely to pass mustard
24 before the Division of Safety of Dams in that it would block
25 the spillway. And there would be an alternative or burying
01 the pipes in the spillway, but that is a tough job in the
02 type of terrain that is there and could jeopardize the
03 integrity of that spillway structure. So, I would not
04 recommend it.
05 Also, as an operating problem, there is very much
06 limited range of lake levels over which the siphon could be
07 operated. So it's problematic as to whether it would be
08 available when needed; and also siphons do have a notorious
09 reputation for not always working when you want them to
11 The second proposal would be DWP was to install a 300
12 cfs pumping station in the lake, discharging through a
13 78-inch diameter pipeline, approximately 2,500 feet to Rush
14 Creek. This, I think, would be more reliable than the
15 siphons. It's direct. Looking at DWP's numbers, it is
16 extremely expensive, costing in excess of 14,000,000; and
17 that doesn't include operation and maintenance costs, nor
18 the cost to provide power to a large pump. There is not --
19 it appears there is not sufficient existing power at the dam
20 to power such a large machine.
21 Also, it does not -- same as the siphons; it does not
22 provide any water to Reach 1 of Rush Creek on a continuous
24 The third proposal of DWP was to construct a new outlet
25 tunnel at the dam, ten-foot diameter tunnel, approximately
01 1,700 feet long. This, obviously, could meet a number of
02 requirements. It is very flexible. It could provide
03 continuous flows to Rush Creek in the Reach 1 year round,
04 be highly reliable due to its simplicity. It would just be
05 control of an outlet gate or outlet valve that would control
06 the flows. Flows up to 600 cfs could always be met at any
07 season or time of year, despite what runoffs or without
08 coordination with any other facilities.
09 I chose this option as the one I would recommend as
10 most reliable out of the lot. I estimated the cost, a
11 conserve estimate would be approximately 8.3 million,
12 including engineering and overheads. And if we added 30
13 percent contingency to that, my cost estimate is 10.8
14 million. I believe with good project management and good
15 design and competitive bidding, those costs could probably
16 be shaved considerably, also.
17 The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's
18 recommended proposal is to provide an upgrade of the Mono
19 Gate Return Ditch to capacity of 380 cfs and to supplement
20 those flows with releases from the Lee Vining Creek conduit
21 overflow structure. This, again, is more so than even the
22 -- proposals one and two would require close coordination of
23 operations of the Lee Vining conduit and I'll add the
24 additional factor of coordinating with high flows in Lee
25 Vining Creek. This option would not rewater Reach 1, and I
01 think the reliability here is questionable.
02 Going to task two, which is sediment passage at Lee
03 Vining, Walker and Parker Creek Diversion Dams. DWP
04 proposes to draw down the water in the ponds during the
05 October through March season, which for the hydrology of
06 this watershed is the low flow season on these streams. And
07 then at three- to five-year intervals, to dredge the ponds
08 and place the sediment dredged on the stream banks
09 downstream of the ponds where it could be eroded by high
10 flows back into the stream, to be carried on down to provide
11 a continuum of sediment passage.
12 There is a flaw in this proposal, in that you don't
13 move much sediment low flows. There is very little sediment
14 comes into the ponds on low flows. I believe that such an
15 operation would cut a little ditch or gully through the
16 sediment in the ponds, and that is about all it would do.
17 It wouldn't really be very beneficial.
18 I have suggested three alternatives for improving upon
19 these plans. First alternative, simply take the basic
20 concept of drawdown flushing that DWP has proposed and
21 improve it to do the drawdowns during the high flow periods
22 on these streams in the spring, and drawdown only during the
23 period of time that the flows are very high. To accommodate
24 this, some new larger outlets may be needed at the dams. I
25 propose in doing some very rough backend of the envelope
01 calculations; that's probably four 48-inch gates at sluice
02 gates at the Lee Vining Creek structure would be adequate to
03 carry, say, a five-year return flow through the sluice gates
04 and similarly at Walker and Parker, a 36-inch at Walker and
05 a 42-inch gate at Parker Creek would do the job.
06 I estimated the cost for these facilities to be
07 approximately $124,000 at Lee Vining Creek and 23,000 at
08 Walker Creek and $27,000 at Parker Creek. And, again, these
09 are very approximate back of the envelope-type
11 A second alternative proposed would be the use of Iowa
12 vanes or similar things. The term "Iowa vane" is a patented
13 facility. There are other vanes that operate similarly that
14 have a little different shape. An Iowa vane is basically if
15 you can imagine one of the concrete barrier rails that the
16 highway department puts out in traffic, and they move them
17 around from one position to another, commonly called a
18 K-rail, is the highway terminology. But am Iowa vane is
19 something that looks similar to that. Maybe a little taller
20 and a little shorter in configuration. They are placed in
21 the stream and they create turbulences and vortices that,
22 basically, resuspend sediment and route sediment on through
23 channel sections, or particularly useful in front of intake
24 structures and such.
25 So, I guess, my testimony isn't here to give a lesson
01 on Iowa vanes, but this is something to be investigating. I
02 have observed some interesting videos showing these vanes in
03 action, particularly in the modeling tests that were
04 conducted at Colorado State University for PG&E. I was
05 quite impressed with their efficiency in moving sediments
06 and extending flushing cones stream from reservoir outlets.
07 I think it is something that would be very economical to
08 install. If they are used, they would probably have a cost
09 in the order of 10,000 at the smaller ponds, and perhaps
10 $20,000 at the Lee Vining Creek ponds. They are -- I would
11 advise that an expert in this area, like Dr. Jacob Odgaard
12 from the Iowa Institute of Technology, be consulted on
13 something like this, to make recommendations.
14 A third alternative I looked at would be high flow
15 bypass channels. I put up a little cartoon here to look
16 at. Basically, route sediments around the ponds. Flow
17 being in this direction. This is the pond at the diversion
18 dam. You would have to install an upstream headworks, such
19 that it could divert high flows down that are diverted
20 around through the bypass channel, and perhaps this could be
21 adjusted through gates and weirs here that this structure,
22 to allow just the flows into the pond that are needed for
23 diversion to the Lee Vining Creek conduit.
24 So, basically, this is a scheme here for eliminating
25 -- looking at a cross section of pond, you see a level
01 surface. Of course, the pond is what causes the sediment to
02 fall out and decrease the water velocity, the retention
03 time, the sediment can fall out, by putting the channel
04 around it.
05 The bottom dotted lines trace the profile of the
06 channel. What it's doing is just simply restoring the
07 gradient of the stream around the dam, bypassing the dam.
08 So whatever sediments are carried by the stream would simply
09 be carried through the channel on around the stream.
10 MR. FRINK: Mr. Harrison, so the record is clear, the
11 drawing that you are referring is Figure 1 to your --
12 MR. HARRISON: Figure 1 from my testimony.
13 MR. FRINK: Your testimony was Mono Lake Committee
14 Exhibit 1.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. HARRISON: Looking at the cost of these options,
17 we are looking at, for Walker Creek and Parker Creek, I
18 estimated approximately $50,000 for each channel; for Lee
19 Vining Creek would be on the order of $250,000. These were
20 based on my estimate for a 50-year return flow, which I
21 extracted from one of the charts in DWP's documents of 110
22 cfs at Walker and Parker and 680 cfs at Lee Vining Creek.
23 Of course, this channel, a big part of the cost is riprap or
24 other armoring of the channel to make sure it is a stable
25 channel that doesn't erode during these high flows.
01 The third task I was asked to review, and that was how
02 to move 70 cfs from either the tailrace channel at -- put up
03 another diagram here.
04 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: While you are doing that, Mr.
05 Harrison, let me just remind you that there is an hour limit
06 on direct; and in this case, unless Mr. Dodge is going to
07 make a showing for more time, there is about 25 minutes
08 left. So you still have one more witness. I just want you
09 to be mindful of that.
10 MR. DODGE: I would advise Mr. Harrison that we are
12 MR. HARRISON: I will show this upper map here, which
13 is Figure 3 from my testimony, and showing an overview of
14 Conway. Some photographs I had that is not in the
15 testimony, just as a reference point, to help people orient
16 between the map and where things are actually at.
17 This is Highway 395 through the -- and this is the
18 Conway Ranch area. Lundy Powerhouse is over here. Mono
19 City is in this area right above the marker. Mill Creek is
20 right there on the other side of Mono City. Wilson Creek is
21 coming around this way. And, anyway, those are not nice
22 pictures; it doesn't tell a whole lot in detail.
23 But looking down on this area here, here is Mono City.
24 Lundy Powerhouse here. The upper blue is Wilson Creek
25 traced out, and the lower one is Mill Creek.
01 I looked at two different alternatives for moving water
02 from this stream to this stream. I'm not arguing this is a
03 ditch or creek. This is definitely Tailrace Ditch down to
04 this point here from the powerhouse. I've eliminated the
05 idea of using improved ditches because of the porosity of
06 the soil in this region, excessive leakage. And I looked at
07 the pipelines, solicited prices on pipe -- plastic,
08 concrete, and steel pipe. Concrete pipe is much the
09 cheaper. From hydraulic calculations I calculated, I
10 estimated the size of pipe that was going to be needed to
11 carry from this point to this point; that is, from Wilson
12 Creek to Mill Creek. Also --
13 MR. DODGE: You said from Mill Creek to Mill Creek.
14 MR. HARRISON: I'm sorry.
15 MR. DODGE: You meant from --
16 MR. HARRISON: From Wilson Creek to Mill Creek.
17 MR. DODGE: From the Lundy Powerhouse to Mill Creek?
18 MR. HARRISON: From the Lundy Powerhouse to Tailrace
19 Ditch, to Mill Creek. And as an alternative, we looked at a
20 pipeline from east of Conway Ranch from Wilson Creek to
21 Mill Creek, at a point just to the east of Mono City. Mono
22 City being here.
23 Where this line here -- I looked at two different
24 options. One was to follow the existing ditch alignment
25 throughout, which included this little loop of green, back
01 around; the ditch follows the contour over here. That was
02 about 6,000 feet long. That option would have cost
03 approximately $878,000, according to my estimate. And that
04 was a 42-inch reinforced concrete pipeline.
05 The other option was to cut off this loop by putting in
06 an inverted siphon across this swale here to Lundy Road.
07 That would reduce the length of pipeline to 3,800 feet. And
08 through that reduced length, we can also reduce the size to
09 36 inch. That option would cost on the order of $521,000.
10 The other two options over here -- well, I looked at
11 two over here. The B-1 and B-2. B-2 is shown. B-1 is this
12 little green line change. Instead of this direct route into
13 the Mill Creek, we would angle down slope, across slope
14 here, and deliver water to Mill Creek, perhaps, a couple
15 thousand feet upstream from where the other delivery point
16 would be. This route is 11,000 to 12,000 feet long.
17 Requires a 42-inch pipeline. And either of these options
18 would cost on the order of $2,000,000.
19 Obviously, if you are going to make a selection on the
20 basis of cost, option A-2, which is 3,800 feet of pipeline
21 here, is the choice.
22 I think that about summarizes my testimony.
23 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Mr. Harrison.
24 Dr. Stine.
25 DR. STINE: Yes, thank you. You know who I am, and
01 what my qualifications are. I will be very brief.
02 I have two points that were addressed in my direct
03 examination for Mono Lake/Audubon, and, as Mr. Dodge asked
04 me to do, I will confirm this is Exhibit 5. I really can
05 dispense with the first of these very, very quickly.
06 There was a nomenclature upheaval about what to call
07 the Rush Creek Reach immediately above Biggest Bend. There
08 was some confusion in there for a while. My understanding
09 now is that that confusion has been completely cleared up,
10 and that it seems everyone is on board to rewater this
11 particular reach immediately above Biggest Bend on Rush
12 Creek. That has become, then, a non problem.
13 The second point, almost equally as brief, regards
14 sediment passage on Parker and Walker Creeks. Larry
15 Harrison has just addressed this. My concern here is that
16 there seems to have been forgotten in all of these
17 discussions one of the conditions that benefited fishery on
18 Rush Creek, and that is the springs that existed immediately
19 below the Narrows on Rush Creek, on the west side of Rush
20 Creek, the so-called at Vestal Springs. They have provided
21 fish habitat. They were one of the elements that Elden
22 Vestal said contributed tremendously to the quality of the
23 fishery through the Rush Creek bottomland.
24 Peter Vorster and I did an analysis, a historical
25 analysis, a couple years back and produced a report on this.
01 And our conclusion, I think quite clearly, was that the
02 springs, which are natural and which have been there for
03 many hundreds of years, were lost because the distributary
04 channels on the Parker and Walker Creek fans were dewatered
05 at the time that, or shortly after the Department of Water
06 and Power put in their diversion facilities on those two
08 Distributary channels on alluvial fans are common.
09 Like in a delta situation, a stream hits an alluvial fan and
10 it tends to break into several channels. There were two
11 channels on Parker Creek. There were three channels on
12 Walker Creek. In both cases, right up at the apex of the
13 fans on the two streams. I would argue simply that if we
14 are going to do a bypass channel similar to what Mr.
15 Harrison showed as his alternative three, I believe it was
16 for Parker and Walker Creeks, that it would be possible to
17 rewater some of these channels, really at the same time,
18 with little more effort.
19 The idea here would be to get water into these
20 distributary channels and lose it to the ground. They were
21 on the earliest maps from the 1880s and '90s, withering
22 streams. So, simply get water into those channels, lose it
23 to the ground. It then reappears down in the Rush Creek
25 And I think that concludes my testimony. Thank you.
01 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Dr. Stine.
02 Anything else, Mr. Dodge, from this panel?
03 MR. DODGE: Nothing else.
04 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, sir.
05 We will then go to cross-examination, and we will begin
06 with U.S. Forest Service.
07 Is there anyone here for U.S. Forest Service that
08 wishes to cross-examine these witnesses?
09 No one responding --
10 MS. BELLOMO: Chairman Caffrey.
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Yes, Ms. Bellomo.
12 MS. BELLOMO: Can we go off the record for a moment?
13 Mr. Bellomo wanted to make a statement. I think just speak
14 briefly and, perhaps, off the record in case any party had
15 any questions about it being proper to be in the record.
16 MR. BIRMINGHAM: I have a question about it. I have a
17 question about Mr. Bellomo making a statement to the Board
18 at all. He is going to be a witness, and if he is going to
19 offer testimony, he can offer at that time.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Mr. Birmingham.
21 Let me say that we had an opportunity for policy
23 MS. BELLOMO: This wouldn't be a policy statement. This
24 is a factual statement, but we can wait. That is fine.
25 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: That would be more appropriate than
01 going on and off the record. I am not sure what the
02 justification for something like that to be. I would prefer
03 that we keep everything on the record.
04 Bureau of Land Management, anyone here representing the
06 Is that you, Mr. Russi?
07 MR. RUSSI: I made it.
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I know you were here earlier. You
09 look like a familiar face. Good to see you. Welcome back.
10 MR. RUSSI: Thank you. I just had a few questions here
11 this morning, Mr. Chairman.
12 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Please proceed. You are aware of
13 the rules on cross-examination?
14 MR. RUSSI: I will do my best.
15 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: In terms of time and scope of your
16 questioning? Quite a bit different than what is allowed in
20 BY THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
21 BY MR. RUSSI
22 MR. RUSSI: My first questions are to Mr.
23 Vorster. And I am going to ask that we refer to Mr.
24 Vorster's direct testimony, R-NSC/MLC-7, on Page 2. And I
25 am looking at the first full paragraph, and I am going to
01 read a couple of sentences here, about the middle of the
03 And it begins:
04 The MLC proposal is to restore close to
05 natural flows in Mill Creek, impaired by
06 Lundy Reservoir, in order to restore the
07 waterfowl habitat in Mill Creek to the level
08 recommended by the waterfowl scientists and
09 to restore a naturally functioning stream
10 ecosystem and bottomlands. (Reading.)
12 MLC proposes to return all of the water to
13 Mill Creek, except that which is necessary to
14 maintain Wilson Creek riparian corridor
15 through Conway Ranch and to maintain the
16 Simis and Thompson Ranch meadows and trees.
18 Mr. Vorster, how was it determined that all of the
19 water except for the small amounts you reference for Wilson
20 Creek and irrigation flows for Simis and Thompson Ranch
21 meadows and trees, how was it determined that all of the
22 water was necessary to restore the waterfowl habitat in the
23 stream ecosystem and bottomlands for Mill Creek.
24 MR. VORSTER: I am not a waterfowl scientist. As I
25 stated in my testimony, as you just read, I went by the
01 recommendations of the waterfowl scientists, as stated in
02 the waterfowl plans, that said that all or close to all of
03 the water needed to be restored to Mill Creek in order to
04 restore the waterfowl habitat.
05 MR. RUSSI: If we can go to Page 3, please, part d, on
06 that page, and I will read the first two sentences. It
08 A release of 2 cfs from April through
09 November to maintain Wilson Creek riparian
10 corridor through Conway Ranch. (Reading.)
11 Then it says:
12 Although the exact amount required is not
13 known, I have been advised by Diana Jacobs,
14 riparian specialist for the State Lands
15 Commission, that the release needs to be
16 enough to keep the root zone of the plants
17 moist. (Reading.)
18 In your discussions with Dr. Jacobs, what do you mean
19 by "root zone"?
20 MR. VORSTER: What I mean by "root zone," as was
21 advised to me by Diana Jacobs, and so I think that she would
22 be the best person to answer it, but the way I understand it
23 would be the area in the Wilson Creek bed itself, that the
24 roots have access to, would be kept moist.
25 MR. RUSSI: Have you or Dr. Jacobs measured the extent
01 of the root zone in Wilson Creek?
02 MR. VORSTER: I have not measured the extent of the
03 root zone. I can't speak for Dr. Jacobs.
04 MR. RUSSI: I would like to continue down; the next
05 sentence says:
06 I believe that a release of 1 cfs would be
07 sufficient to keep the root zone moist
08 through the Conway Ranch because Wilson Creek
09 gains water as it flows east of Highway 395.
11 How much water have you measured in Wilson Creek
12 gaining east of Highway 395?
13 MR. VORSTER: I myself have not made any measurement.
14 I would -- my observations are limited to just visual
15 observations and measurements that were taken by other
16 people, including yourself. And there were measurements
17 taken by EBASCO when they were doing investigation in that
19 So, the amount of gain in the reach of Wilson Creek
20 below Highway 395 is -- I conservatively estimate it at 1
21 cfs. In the Conway Ranch Environmental Impact Report that
22 was issued in the late 1980s, there was also quite a
23 discussion of the gains in Wilson Creek. And in those
24 discussions, they indicated considerably more gain than I
25 estimated. I was being extremely conservative when I said 1
01 cfs. I think in those reports they talked about 3 to 5 cfs.
02 MR. RUSSI: Are you aware of what time of year those
03 measurements were taken to establish 3 to 5 cfs gain?
04 MR. VORSTER: I can't remember off the top of my head,
05 but I think it was -- they did do a monthly water balance.
06 And I think they showed greater gains during the irrigation
07 season and smaller gains in the winter season. I would have
08 to refer to those documents to fully answer your question.
09 MR. RUSSI: Well, I guess I need to go back and ask you
10 then if there is apparently some uncertainty here about the
11 amount of water that is available east of Highway 395 in
12 Wilson Creek. And that the root zone itself, to your
13 knowledge, has not been measured, if I am stating this
14 correctly, how your statement that you believe that a
15 release of 1 cfs would be sufficient to keep the root zone
16 moist is within the context of known information.
17 MR. VORSTER: As I stated in my testimony, the exact
18 amount required is not known. There is a lot of uncertainty
19 associated here. What I was doing was using my professional
20 judgment, based upon my own observations and observations of
21 other people to make those estimates. There is a lot more
22 work that needs to be done. But I do believe that a small
23 amount of water is necessary to keep the root zone moist in
24 Wilson Creek.
25 MR. RUSSI: Do you believe it would be beneficial to
01 understand the soil and water dynamics of Wilson Creek
02 Channel in order to come up with an appropriate flow in
03 Wilson Creek on an annual situation?
04 MR. VORSTER: Yes. More information is obviously
05 needed. What the exact information is, I would defer to
06 people like Dr. Jacobs and yourself and other specialists in
07 that field.
08 MR. RUSSI: I want to go to Page 4 right at the top, in
09 your testimony. In the very first complete sentence you
11 Downstream of the highway, Mill Creek loses
12 water to the groundwater system down to the
13 stream reach just below County Road.
15 How much water have you measured being lost?
16 MR. VORSTER: Again, I have not done any current
17 metering measurements myself. I have been in the area quite
18 a bit over the last 20 years, and recently in the last
19 couple years I have taken the effort to estimate flows above
20 395, estimate flows down at the County Road. Something I do
21 routinely. Plus in the Mill Creek -- in that stream
22 evaluation report that Department of Fish and Game released
23 in the past year has some measurements as well. Has some
24 measurements in that case.
25 There is also visual measurements -- visual
01 observations that the Department of Water and Power has
02 taken at Mill Creek at the County Roads. So, there is quite
03 a bit of visual observations and a few stream flow
04 measurements that were taken to give us a feeling for what
05 the losses are, which are considerable.
06 MR. BIRMINGHAM: I am going to object and ask that the
07 answer be stricken on the grounds it is non responsive.
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I apologize to the parties. I was
09 distracted. Could somebody repeat what happened for me,
11 MR. RUSSI: I asked the question: How much water is
12 lost in the reach of stream downstream of Highway 395 to the
13 County Road?
14 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Actually, I would ask that the Court
15 Reporter go back and read the question that was asked.
16 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you.
17 Would you read the question?
18 (Record read as requested.)
19 MR. BIRMINGHAM: My objection is that Mr. Vorster did
20 not answer that question. He answered a completely
21 different question. I believe the answer to that question
22 is, "I haven't measured any." If that is his answer, that
23 is what he should state. And I ask that the remainder of
24 the answer to the non asked question be stricken.
25 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Please read the remainder of that.
01 (Record read as requested.)
02 MR. DODGE: I would submit, Mr. Chairman, that all of
03 that answer is responsive to the general subject matter of
04 the question which was losses in a particular section of
06 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, sir.
07 Mr. Birmingham.
08 MR. BIRMINGHAM: The specific question was: How much
09 losses have you measured? And Mr. Vorster answered that in
10 "I have not measured any." That ought to be -- we are going
11 to be here for weeks if every witness responds to 14
12 different questions in an answer to a very specific
14 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I wouldn't say weeks, but maybe an
15 extra couple of days, Mr. Birmingham, which is perfectly all
16 right with me.
17 Let me just say to you that I admonished the witnesses
18 earlier today, before we got started. I am going to do it
19 again. I am going to leave this statement in the record, so
20 will my admonition be in the record. I am going to tell Mr.
21 Vorster, and any other witnesses that are going to appear
22 today, that you need to be brief and crisp. And I wish that
23 you do not take license and dissertate on anything that
24 could be remotely related to the questions. So, please be
25 very precise.
01 And please get on the questioning as briefly and
02 quickly as you can, sir.
03 MR. RUSSI: As a follow-up to your statement there in
04 that first complete sentence, have you measured loss in the
05 reach continuously, on an annual cycle, or do you know, does
06 the reach change in its loss of water over an annual cycle?
07 MR. VORSTER: As I stated before, my observations are
08 limited to visual observations, and not measurements. So,
09 if your specific question is measurements with the current
10 meter, I have not done that myself. I have visual
12 MR. RUSSI: Thank you.
13 Going down to the bottom of the page, on Page 4,
14 please, under part g, and I am going to refer to the second
15 sentence there. You state:
16 A combination of losses in and diversions
17 from Wilson Creek cause it to periodically to
18 dry up downstream from the Conway Ranch.
20 Skipping down one full sentence, you continue:
21 No water was diverted from Mill Creek in the
22 late fall and winter from 1962 to 1968 so
23 Wilson Creek did not have a supply from the
24 power plant. (Reading.)
25 Continuing with the last sentence:
01 A small amount of accretion occurs in the
02 reach of Wilson Creek through the Conway
03 Ranch, but for most of its length it stayed
04 dry. (Reading.)
05 What do you mean by "most of its length"?
06 MR. VORSTER: I am talking about Wilson Creek as we
07 now define it, from the power plant all the way down to Mono
08 Lake. We can get the map, but it's -- so if you take that
09 -- the dot here on Exhibit R-SLC/DPR-424 is the Lundy
10 Powerhouse. Wilson Creek travels through this whole reach,
11 as we now call it. When there is no water discharging from
12 the powerhouse it is my judgment that the accretion in this
13 reach might keep this wet, but clearly all of this would be
15 MR. DODGE: Can you spell out for the record what you
16 mean by "this"?
17 MR. VORSTER: I am sorry. The reach from approximately
18 the Conway Ranch boundary all the way down to Mono Lake.
19 So, looking at this map, I would say that, in terms of
20 stream mileage, is most of the length or a majority of the
21 length of Wilson Creek would be dry if there was no water
22 discharging from the power plant.
23 MR. RUSSI: Continuing with my question, then, from
24 1962 to 1968, you're stating that the stream would have been
25 dry. You're making this determination how?
01 MR. VORSTER: Again, because there was no discharge
02 from the power plant, the only source of water for Wilson
03 Creek would be its natural runoff. As we have testimony
04 from a number of people, including Dr. Stine, that indicates
05 that Wilson Creek is an ephemeral stream and occasionally
06 would get runoff from its natural drainage. But that is a
07 very occasional event.
08 MR. RUSSI: Thank you.
09 I have one question for Mr. Harrison, please.
10 During your recent oral testimony here, Mr. Harrison,
11 you stated that there is excessive leakage. I think you
12 were referring to water loss in Wilson Creek when you were
13 discussing that drainage. And I would like you to tell us
14 how you determined that there was excessive leakage in
15 Wilson Creek?
16 MR. HARRISON: Well, two factors led me to the
17 conclusion that there was excessive leakage. In our
18 discussions in field we had in March with Southern
19 California Edison, Mr. Bellomo and Mr. Almond both, I think,
20 mentioned that the ditches lost a lot of water en route,
21 particularly what is now called Wilson Creek lost water and
22 also the Mill Creek Diversion Ditch. Also, my observations
23 of the character of the soils in the area are very coarse,
24 loose, open drained, pretty much lacking in fine materials.
25 Though, my experience is that with soils as these, they are
01 very permeable soils. So a lot of water would percolate
02 into the soils unless it was a lined ditch with some
03 impermeable material.
04 MR. RUSSI: Did you walk the entire Wilson Creek from
05 its point of diversion down to Highway 167 at the time you
06 were down there?
07 MR. HARRISON: We didn't walk the entire length. We
08 did walk a length. Let me show you on the map, here.
09 Approximately this point here, we walked down to this
10 area and back up over, around here. Approximately to the
11 County Road, just short of the County Road. We walked and
12 then we accessed this area in here on the County Road.
13 MR. RUSSI: Did you observe Wilson Creek at all
14 upstream of the Conway Ranch property to its point of
16 MR. HARRISON: Wilson Creek upstream of the -- what do
17 you call the point of diversion sir?
18 MR. RUSSI: Where the ditch of Wilson Creek comes off
19 the tailrace ditch of the power plant.
20 MR. VORSTER: I accompanied Mr. Harrison, so if I may
21 jump in.
22 MR. RUSSI: Go ahead.
23 MR. VORSTER: This is right here where we had -- the
24 junction of the return ditch with the tailrace is where we
25 had the meeting with Bert Almond and Joe Bellomo. I think
01 we investigated Wilson Creek just downstream of that. And
02 the return ditch itself.
03 MR. HARRISON: Actually, I don't recall we looked at
04 this much at all, in this reach, from here to Conway Ranch.
05 We did -- we are standing here and visual observations, of
06 course, for several hundred feet from this point. We also
07 walked a short distance down the Mill Creek Diversion
09 MR. RUSSI: So, in your reference here, you are saying
10 that you were at the point of diversion of Wilson Creek with
11 the tailrace ditch from Lundy Power Plant, but apparently
12 you were not at any point along that stream down to the
13 Lundy Power Plant road and east of that point, across
14 Highway 395, to the Conway Ranch property; is that true?
15 MR. HARRISON: That is right.
16 MR. VORSTER: We just looked down here. We did look at
17 the return ditch around the Lundy Road. So, we looked at
18 that. But in terms of Wilson Creek, itself, I think we
19 didn't walk very far down it from the diversion point
21 MR. HARRISON: Of course, I have crossed it on the
22 highway several times, looked up and down it also.
23 MR. RUSSI: Just for the record, and so I am clear on
24 this, your statement about the soil type and the loss of
25 water in the drainage is in reference to that portion of the
01 drainage downstream from Conway property, primarily?
02 MR. HARRISON: No. I think my reference about soil
03 percolation and loss of water to the soils is also
04 applicable to the Mill Creek Diversion Ditch region, as well
05 as this area downstream of Conway Ranch.
06 MR. RUSSI: Thank you.
07 That's all. Thank you, Mr. Caffrey.
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Mr. Russi.
09 Ms. Bellomo, do you have questions of these witnesses?
10 MS. BELLOMO: Yes, I do. Thank you.
11 MR. DODGE: Would this be a good time to take a morning
13 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: If you will indulge me, Ms. Bellomo,
14 I think a good suggestion. Let's take about ten minutes.
15 Thank you.
16 (Break taken.)
17 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: On the record.
18 Ms. Bellomo, your turn to cross-examine the witnesses.
19 You're on Mr. Vorster.
20 MS. BELLOMO: Good morning.
21 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Welcome back.
22 MS. BELLOMO: Thank you.
02 BY PEOPLE FOR MONO BASIN PRESERVATION
03 BY MS. BELLOMO
04 MS. BELLOMO: Good morning, gentlemen. I just have a
05 couple questions to start off for you, Mr. Harrison.
06 I understood from your testimony on cross-examination,
07 I believe that you have made only two trips to the Mono
08 Basin; is that correct?
09 MR. HARRISON: That is correct. There were other
10 personal trips. I have been through the area.
11 MS. BELLOMO: How long did you spend in the Mono Basin
12 on each of those trips that you made, related to your
13 testimony in this case?
14 MR. HARRISON: Better part of two days on each trip.
15 MS. BELLOMO: What locations did you visit on each
17 MR. HARRISON: I testified to the locations I visited.
18 I visited the diversion points at Lee Vining Creek, Walker
19 and Parker Creek, Rush Creek area of the Grant Dam and the
20 Mono Gate Return Ditch, and Mill Creek in the vicinity of
21 Lundy Powerhouse, and also Wilson Creek downstream of Conway
22 Ranch, and Mill Creek at other points where it crosses the
23 County Road and the highway.
24 MS. BELLOMO: Can you tell me when the visits were,
25 these two visits?
01 MR. HARRISON: One was March 7th and 8th, 1996. The
02 other was October 3rd and 4th, 1996.
03 MS. BELLOMO: You described various methods of
04 returning the water to Mill Creek from the Lundy tailrace,
06 MR. HARRISON: Yes.
07 MS. BELLOMO: That includes siphoning and use of
08 pipelines, and were there other methods?
09 MR. HARRISON: Well, I lightly considered a ditch, but
10 considering what I was informed about the leakage, loss of
11 water in the various ditches, and what I observed in the
12 loss of water in Mill Creek downstream area, I discarded the
13 idea of using ditches and went to pipelines as being a sure
14 method of conveying water without loss.
15 MS. BELLOMO: So, am I correct, that you -- what you
16 were doing was an engineering analysis of what would it take
17 to to perform such a project?
18 MR. HARRISON: Yes.
19 MS. BELLOMO: Is it your understanding that the purpose
20 of this engineering project would be to return Mill Creek to
21 its natural condition?
22 MR. HARRISON: I can't really say -- nothing
23 considered whether it would return to a natural condition or
24 not. It would obviously approach more natural conditions
25 than are there now.
01 MS. BELLOMO: You testified about meeting with Mr.
02 Bellomo and another representative of Southern California
03 Edison during one of your field trips, correct.
04 MR. HARRISON: Yes.
05 MS. BELLOMO: Did you meet with Mr. Bellomo on only one
07 MR. HARRISON: Yes.
08 MS. BELLOMO: Am I correct that when you referred --
09 you referred in your testimony to walking on various areas
10 of Wilson and Mill Creek, that you were not referring to
11 being with Mr. Bellomo during those times?
12 MR. HARRISON: No. I was with Mr. Bellomo at the
13 Lundy Powerhouse tailrace area and the upstream portion of
14 the Mill Creek Diversion Ditch, or return ditch.
15 MS. BELLOMO: The return ditch.
16 Thank you. No more questions for you right now. Thank
18 Mr. Vorster, turning to your testimony at Page 2. In
19 the first full paragraph, the middle of the paragraph, you
21 The Mono Lake Committee proposal is to
22 restore close to natural flows. (Reading.)
23 You go on to describe the proposal. My question is:
24 Is that currently the Mono Lake Committee position?
25 MR. VORSTER: It is my understand that is their
01 position, yes.
02 MS. BELLOMO: And you indicate in that second half of
03 that first full paragraph that your -- the Mono Lake
04 Committee proposal would provide -- let me rephrase this.
05 I will just quote from your testimony. You state:
06 The Mono Lake Committee proposes to return
07 all the water to Mill Creek except that which
08 is necessary to maintain the Wilson Creek
09 riparian corridor through Conway Ranch.
11 Can you tell me how many cfs you are referring to
13 MR. VORSTER: In the testimony that I provided I used
14 number of 2 CFS from April through November.
15 MS. BELLOMO: Are you proposing a dedicated water right
16 to Wilson Creek of that amount?
17 MR. VORSTER: Can you repeat the question again?
18 MS. BELLOMO: Are you proposing that there should be a
19 dedicated water right?
20 MR. VORSTER: I am not making that proposal right now.
21 You have to understand this is the Mono Lake Committee
22 proposal. I was doing what they told me to do, so I am not
23 making the proposal.
24 MS. BELLOMO: Is the Mono Lake Committee making such a
01 MR. VORSTER: I don't know.
02 MS. BELLOMO: From what you just said, I take it that
03 the Mono Lake Committee is not proposing a year-round flow
04 of 2 CPS in Wilson Creek; is that correct?
05 MR. VORSTER: At the current time, the Mono Lake
06 Committee proposal consists of making a release of 2 cfs
07 from April through November to maintain the Wilson Creek
08 riparian corridor. So I guess the answer to your question
09 is, no, it is not a year-round.
10 MS. BELLOMO: Would a 2 cfs flow in Wilson Creek from
11 April through November be sufficient to maintain the
12 self-sustaining wild brown trout fishery that is in Wilson
14 MR. VORSTER: I don't know. I am not a fisheries
16 MS. BELLOMO: I have heard your testimony earlier
17 today, that, in your opinion, if there is no release from
18 the Lundy Powerhouse, then Wilson Creek dries up below
19 Conway Ranch; is that correct?
20 MR. VORSTER: That's correct. Through Conway Ranch
21 there is a gaining reach there so there would probably be a
22 little bit of water through there.
23 MS. BELLOMO: How much are you estimating would be in
24 Wilson Creek if no water was released from the powerhouse
25 source between -- well, after November and up to April?
01 MR. VORSTER: Downstream of the tailrace through Conway
02 Ranch, it would be a small residual flow; you know, pools in
03 the Upper Reach, maybe, set up a little flow through Conway
04 Ranch, and then no surface flow below Conway Ranch.
05 MS. BELLOMO: Do you have an estimate of how much flow
06 this small amount would be in Conway Ranch.
07 MR. VORSTER: As I testified, I think it would be -- I
08 conservatively estimate through Conway ranch it could be 1
09 cfs, might be. I think Terry Russi made some measurements
10 this past fall that indicated the gain was about 2 cfs. So,
11 depending on the time of the year and the type of water
12 year, it would be a small amount of flow.
13 MS. BELLOMO: You didn't do any analysis to support
14 this opinion; is that correct?
15 MR. VORSTER: Other than what I testified to, looking
16 at available documents, including the Conway EIR, my own
17 visual observations, talking to Terry Russi, talking to
18 locals in the area.
19 MS. BELLOMO: What documents have you looked at that
20 would provide us with any insight into how much water would
21 be in Wilson Creek between November and April if you weren't
22 releasing any water from the powerhouse?
23 MR. VORSTER: There are no documents that go
24 specifically to that question.
25 MS. BELLOMO: You indicate on Page 2 that the Mono Lake
01 Committee proposes to accomplish its plan through the
02 purchase and dedication of the Conway Ranch water right,
03 among other things.
04 Do you see where I am reading in your testimony?
05 MR. VORSTER: Yes.
06 MS. BELLOMO: My question is: Is it the Mono Lake
07 Committee's position that all of the Conway Ranch water
08 right should be dedicated to Mill Creek?
09 MR. VORSTER: I don't know. You have to ask the Mono
10 Lake Committee. I am taking their proposal as they gave it
11 to me and modeling it for the purpose of this testimony.
12 And my understanding is that it would be the purchase
13 and dedication of Conway Ranch water rights and, for the
14 purpose of the modeling, it was the entire amount.
15 MS. BELLOMO: Are you aware of any testimony that has
16 be presented by the Mono Lake Committee which would clarify
17 the question I just asked, as to whether the intention is to
18 dedicate all of the Conway water right to Mill Creek?
19 MR. VORSTER: I am not aware of any testimony in this
20 proceeding. The only testimony that Mono Lake Committee has
21 provided is what has been submitted by the panelists.
22 MS. BELLOMO: Mr. Harrison, you, and Mr. Stine?
23 MR. VORSTER: That's correct.
24 MS. BELLOMO: When you say the Mono Lake Committee
25 proposes to accomplish its goals through the purchase and
01 dedication of the Conway Ranch water right, does the Mono
02 Lake Committee plan to purchase the Conway Ranch water right
04 MR. VORSTER: If I understand your question, do you
05 mean purchase the Conway Ranch water right separate from the
06 land; is that --
07 MS. BELLOMO: Well, let's start with that, then. Does
08 the Mono Lake Committee intend to purchase the Conway Ranch
09 with its water right?
10 MR. VORSTER: Actually, I don't know what the Mono Lake
11 Committee intends to do on any details or specifics on
12 that. Again, that is question for the Mono Lake Committee.
13 MS. BELLOMO: Does the Mono Lake Committee have any
14 position that they've communicated to you, as their expert
15 witness, regarding how they propose to have the Conway Ranch
16 water rights purchased?
17 MR. DODGE: Mr. Chairman, I would raise a question as
18 to the relevance of this line of questioning. I mean, the
19 proposal is the proposal.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Ms. Bellomo.
21 MS. BELLOMO: I think it is entirely relevant to pursue
22 the feasibility of the proposal that is being put forth by
23 one of the parties here. And a major element of this
24 proposal is dedicating these water rights. I think I should
25 be allowed to probe whether the proponent of the proposal
01 actually has any idea whether it is feasible or not.
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Well, the questions do seem somewhat
03 repetitious as what may be obvious from what is already in
04 the record and what is direct. But I am not going to make
05 that judgment. But I will observe that you're asking a
06 number of questions with regard to the intent of the Mono
07 Lake Committee, and Mr. Vorster has continuously, I think,
08 made it clear that he doesn't know how to answer specific
09 policy questions because he is just modeling what they asked
10 him to model. Maybe we can all stipulate to that.
11 Why don't you proceed and let's see where you are
12 taking us. We will hear a little bit more, if you've got
14 MS. BELLOMO: The table that you provided in
15 Attachments 2a through 4f in your testimony set forth
16 historic data, which, as I recall, is from 1950s and 1960s;
17 is that correct?
18 MR. VORSTER: Yes. The dry year is 1960; the normal
19 year is 1951; and the wet year is 1952.
20 MS. BELLOMO: My first question for you is: Why did
21 you rely on data that is 30 and 40 years old?
22 MR. VORSTER: I relied on that data, not because it
23 was old, because I wanted to get represented hydrologies.
24 In other words, what was nature providing, what was the
25 runoff, and that was the main intent there. And also, to
01 get what I consider representative years. One in ten dry
02 year, one in ten wet year, and a normal year. And those
03 years lent themselves to that representation.
04 In looking at what the flows and diversions in the
05 ditches were in those years and comparing it to what has
06 occurred recently, it was close enough that I felt, in terms
07 of diversions into the ditches, that it was fairly
09 Ideally, the next step would be to take some recent
10 years and do the same thing.
11 MS. BELLOMO: Can you tell me how you obtained such old
13 MR. VORSTER: Yes. Data that I've had for 20 years
14 that was provided to me by combination of -- data that was
15 provided to me by the Department of Water and Power as well
16 as Southern California Edison. I document in my testimony
17 in Attachment 5 where all the data came from, where every
18 single line in these spreadsheets is documented as to what
19 it means and where the data is from.
20 MS. BELLOMO: Would you have any problem with sharing
21 that data with us on an informal basis, with the people from
22 Mono Basin Preservation?
23 MR. VORSTER: I would be more than happy to share all
24 data I have.
25 MS. BELLOMO: Thank you.
01 You state on Page 4 that the Lundy Reservoir operations
02 under Edison's control are not significantly different than
03 what is shown for the years you have used prior to 1962.
04 My question is: What do you base this conclusion upon?
05 MR. VORSTER: That conclusion is based upon seeing how
06 the reservoir has been operated in the last ten years and
07 comparing it to how it was operated then.
08 I think today, currently, there may be a little bit
09 more reservoir control over the flows than what I showed in
10 my spreadsheet, but not significant at all.
11 MS. BELLOMO: Are you saying that the data you
12 obtained for the 1950s and 1960s, that based upon reviewing
13 that data you made assumptions about the reservoir
15 MR. VORSTER: No. The data is, again, on reservoir
16 impairment of the flow is what actually was done by -- at
17 the time it wasn't Southern California Edison. It was their
18 predecessor. And the impairment of the flows by the
19 reservoir and the diversions through the powerhouse, so on
20 and so forth, is very similar to how Edison today would
21 operate it. Again, there may be slightly more reservoir
22 control or more impairment today, but not significantly
23 different than what I show.
24 MS. BELLOMO: On Page 4, Point e, you state:
25 The historical use of the Mill Creek Return
01 Ditch varied according to the need to
02 supplement the flows in Mill Creek for
03 diversion into the main Thompson Ditch.
04 Thus, the return ditch flows were greater in
05 dryer years when there was insufficient
06 natural Mill Creek flows to satisfy the main
07 Thompson diversion demands. (Reading.)
08 My question is: Did you get the information -- let me
09 back up.
10 The information that you relied upon for this
11 conclusion came from whom?
12 MR. VORSTER: That was records that I had originally
13 obtained from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
14 MS. BELLOMO: Do you know if that information was taken
15 from a gauging station?
16 MR. VORSTER: The information is taken from the current
17 meter site at the head of the return ditch.
18 MS. BELLOMO: Was the information for the time period
19 prior to 1962?
20 MR. VORSTER: Yes. I had information that goes back
21 to the '30s, all the way up to 1990s.
22 MS. BELLOMO: Again, on Page 4, Point g, you state
24 Occasionally zero flow is discharged into
25 Wilson Creek because of unplanned
01 interruptions in power plant operations.
03 My question is: What is your source of information
04 about this?
05 MR. VORSTER: That is mainly talking to Southern
06 California Edison people over the years and looking at some
07 records that I have. So, it is a combination of both, very
08 occasional shutdowns.
09 MS. BELLOMO: Can you tell me when the last time that
10 has happened is?
11 MR. VORSTER: I can't recall the specific year. I
12 remember in talking to John Fredrickson, he was there and
13 observed what happened. I can't. It was some time, I
14 think, in the last ten years, 10 or 15 years.
15 MS. BELLOMO: Excuse me, I didn't mean to interrupt
17 John Fredrickson is not an Edison employee, is he?
18 MR. VORSTER: No, he's not. I said it was in talking
19 to Edison employees and local residents.
20 MS. BELLOMO: Can you identify the Edison employee who
21 informed you that occasionally zero flow is discharged into
22 Wilson Creek because of unplanned interruptions?
23 MR. VORSTER: It probably was Bert Almond and his
24 predecessor whose name is escaping me. The hydrogapher,
25 chief hydrogapher, Dennis Osborn, who I initially had
01 contact with. As I said, it was a very unusual
02 circumstance. Let's say there was a lightning strike and
03 there had to be -- the power plant had to shut down. Then
04 for a brief amount of time there could be no flow being
05 discharged from the power plant.
06 MS. BELLOMO: We are talking a very, very brief period
07 of time?
08 MR. VORSTER: Yes. I would -- a day or less.
09 MS. BELLOMO: As much as a full day is your testimony?
10 MR. VORSTER: I wouldn't want to testify to an exact
11 amount of time. It was a very brief time.
12 MS. BELLOMO: If I understood your testimony earlier,
13 if there was zero flow discharged into Wilson Creek, then
14 below Conway Ranch the creek would go dry, correct?
15 MR. VORSTER: That's correct.
16 MS. BELLOMO: If that were to occur, then the fish in
17 the creek, unfortunately, when it went dry, would die,
19 MR. VORSTER: If it was for a long enough period. If
20 it was a short enough period, there would be residual pools
21 that they would be able to survive in.
22 MS. BELLOMO: If they happen to be in pools at the time?
23 MR. VORSTER: Correct.
24 MS. BELLOMO: Are you aware of any Department of Fish
25 and Game investigation into these zero flow episodes?
01 MR. VORSTER: On Wilson Creek?
02 MS. BELLOMO: Yes.
03 MR. VORSTER: I am not aware of.
04 MS. BELLOMO: On Page 5, you set forth what water
05 requirements for the Conway and Thompson Meadows and --
06 rather than me take the time to look through on Page 5, can
07 you refresh my recollection as to how much your water
08 requirement estimate is for the Thompson Meadow?
09 MR. VORSTER: Yeah. For the hundred acres that is
10 currently irrigated, is approximate acreage, the water
11 requirement is calculated by multiplying the acreage times
12 the consumptive use and doubling that, results in a gross
13 demand of 400 acre-feet, which apportioned over the five
14 month growing season, gives an average monthly application
15 of roughly 1.3 cfs.
16 MS. BELLOMO: So, is this a water requirement for both
17 Upper and Lower Thompson Meadows? And by Upper Thompson
18 Meadow I mean the portion of the meadow that is on the west
19 side of the highway, and by Lower Thompson Meadow I mean the
20 portion that is on the east side of the highway.
21 MR. VORSTER: No. This would be just for the Lower
22 Thompson Meadow, which is to the east of 395.
23 MS. BELLOMO: You don't provide for any water for
24 irrigation of Upper Thompson Meadow?
25 MR. VORSTER: That is correct.
01 MS. BELLOMO: You did state on Page 2 that your
02 proposal is if there is sufficient irrigation water to
03 maintain the Simis and Thompson Rancho meadow and trees.
04 The Simis Meadow is adjacent to the Upper Thompson Meadow,
06 MR. VORSTER: Could you describe what you mean by
07 "adjacent"? I don't consider them -- they are close. They
08 are proximate, but they are not literally right next to each
09 other. They are very close to each other.
10 MS. BELLOMO: Well, you say that your proposal is for
11 sufficient water to maintain Simis and Thompson Ranch meadow
12 and trees. Are you referring to sufficient water to
13 maintain the Lower Thompson Meadow on the east side of the
14 highway, but not enough to maintain Thompson Meadow on the
15 west side of the highway?
16 MR. VORSTER: That is correct. Lower Thompson Ranch
17 is, by far, the larger, very visible meadow. The Upper
18 Thompson is much smaller and not visible from Highway 395,
19 or barely visible.
20 MS. BELLOMO: How large is the Simis Meadow?
21 MR. VORSTER: What I refer to as the Simis Meadow, let
22 me -- Simis Meadow, unfortunately, would be just off the
23 Exhibit R-SLC/DPR-424, would be just off the left-hand
24 margin where Upper Thompson and Lower Thompson Ditch coming
25 together. And it is -- the meadow itself is probably, if I
01 remember correctly, I am going to say about 25 acres, and
02 that is based upon what Dave Marquart, who is the ranch
03 manager, told me. So, it is a very small meadow.
04 MS. BELLOMO: That property belongs to Jan Simis?
05 MR. VORSTER: That's correct.
06 MS. BELLOMO: I recall earlier in your testimony, I
07 think in your direct testimony, you stated that Jan Simis
08 has, in your words I think you said, has a minor 1 cfs water
10 MR. VORSTER: 1.8 cfs.
11 MS. BELLOMO: So, Jan Simis has a 1.8 cfs water right?
12 MR. VORSTER: That's correct.
13 MS. BELLOMO: You would agree -- let me restate that.
14 Are you aware that Jan Simis' ranch is one of the
15 original historic ranches in the area?
16 MR. VORSTER: That is my understanding.
17 MS. BELLOMO: You characterize Jan Simis' water right
18 as being a minor water right, and you have testified that
19 she has 1.8 cfs. Would you consider that the 1.3 cfs, then,
20 that you would allocate to Thompson Meadows is also a minor
21 amount of water?
22 MR. VORSTER: Yes. Relative to the other water rights,
23 dWP, Conway, and Forest Service, the 1.8 cfs is a minor
25 MS. BELLOMO: On Page 6 you refer to infiltration
01 losses from the main Thompson Ditch, and you propose using a
02 closed pipeline or, and I quote from you, "some other manner
03 to reduce those losses."
04 My question is: What are you referring to when you say
05 "some other manner to reduce infiltration losses"?
06 MR. VORSTER: You can line the ditches, for example,
07 keep it as an open ditch.
08 MS. BELLOMO: Did you measure infiltration losses?
09 MR. VORSTER: No. Again, I have not -- when you -- the
10 term "measurement" to me means I go out there with a current
11 meter. I observed them. I have observed losses in the
12 ditches in the north part of the Mono Basin. Looking at
13 what the water was at the head and at the downstream end,
14 and I have been able, through visual observations, to see
15 what the loss is. The losses are so high that you can tell
16 through visual observation how much loss there is.
17 MS. BELLOMO: Have you attempted to estimate the
18 amount of cfs that is lost?
19 MR. VORSTER: For example -- yes. I have estimated the
20 loss on the Mill Creek Return Ditch to be --
21 MS. BELLOMO: Excuse me, I'm asking about your
22 testimony about the Thompson, main Thompson Ditch.
23 MR. VORSTER: Yes. For example, in the past couple of
24 years, if I remember correctly, about 8 cfs was being
25 diverted into the main Thompson at Mill Creek. And by the
01 time it was discharging into DeChambeau Creek, it was, I am
02 going to guess, about 5 cfs. I think there may be some
03 measurements of that in the Mill Creek Stream Evaluation
04 Report issued by the Department of Fish and Game.
05 MS. BELLOMO: Would you agree that those infiltration
06 losses help sustain riparian and meadow habitat, if there is
07 meadow, along the ditch in the area where there is
08 infiltration loss? Would you agree that the infiltration
09 losses help to sustain the riparian and meadow habitat?
10 MR. VORSTER: That could occur that the infiltration
11 -- along those ditches there is some riparian habitat.
12 MS. BELLOMO: Do you know if there are any Willow Fly
13 Catchers in the habitat along the main Thompson Ditch?
14 MS. BELLOMO: I am not aware.
15 MS. BELLOMO: You don't know?
16 MR. VORSTER: I don't know.
17 MS. BELLOMO: You would agree that wildlife can't drink
18 from a pipeline that is substituted for a ditch, wouldn't
20 MR. VORSTER: I agree.
21 MS. BELLOMO: Have you reviewed any studies of wildlife
22 in the area of the main Thompson Ditch?
23 MR. VORSTER: No.
24 MS. BELLOMO: Do you know who has done the irrigation
25 on Thompson, the Upper and Lower Thompson Meadow in the past
01 ten years?
02 MR. VORSTER: My understanding is that the current
03 operator, manager of the lease, is a gentleman named Paul
04 Anderson. I don't think he is the owner of the herd. Paul
05 Anderson is a name that has been given to me as someone who
06 has the keys, in fact, to the diversion ditches and, thus,
07 has some authority.
08 MS. BELLOMO: Is it your understanding that for, we
09 will say, the past ten years, the sheep company and their
10 employees that have the lease on Upper Thompson Lower Ranch
11 have been responsible for doing the irrigating?
12 MR. VORSTER: I think that is right, yes.
13 MS. BELLOMO: I assume you talked to Paul Anderson
14 about his irrigation techniques on the Thompson Meadows,
16 MR. VORSTER: I pride myself on being able to talk to
17 everyone. I never talked to Paul Anderson, so I am
19 MR. DODGE: I think the record should reflect a
20 historic moment in the Mono Lake proceedings. Someone has
21 refused to talk to Mr. Vorster.
22 MR. VORSTER: I haven't tried to talk him.
23 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: And I might add, someone with a set
24 of keys. The sign of authority around the Water Board.
25 MR. DODGE: That seems to be getting to the water.
01 MS. BELLOMO: I assume that you have talked to Candido
02 Caldedilla, who is an extremely friendly man, however, have
03 you not?
04 MR. VORSTER: I have not talked to -- I didn't catch
05 the name. No, I have not talked to any of the people who
06 have the leases on Thompson, the Thompson Meadow.
07 MS. BELLOMO: And you haven't talked to any of the men
08 who do irrigation out there?
09 MR. VORSTER: The only person I talked to who has done
10 irrigation would John Pelichowski.
11 MS. BELLOMO: We are talking about Thompson Meadows
12 right now.
13 MR. VORSTER: Right. John Pelichowski was the water
14 master, so when he was in the area, he actually diverted the
15 water from Mill Creek into the Thompson Ditches.
16 MS. BELLOMO: He did not do the irrigation on Thompson
18 MR. VORSTER: No, he did not.
19 MR. FRINK: Excuse me, I wonder if we could have the
20 spelling of both the names of the last individuals?
21 MS. BELLOMO: Mr. Vorster, are you familiar with the
22 Mattly Meadows, the site of the old Mattly Ranch, which lies
23 to the northeast of the Lundy Powerhouse and above 395?
24 MR. VORSTER: Yes.
25 MS. BELLOMO: Does the Mono Lake Committee proposal
01 provide any water for irrigation to sustain this old ranch
03 MR. VORSTER: As I currently understand the proposal,
04 no, it does not. However, I do think that the meadow would
05 stay green just from natural high water table in the area,
06 but does not receive any supplemental water for meadow
08 MS. BELLOMO: Your testimony is that the Mattly Meadow
09 is not irrigated?
10 MR. VORSTER: No. I said it would -- if it did not
11 receive any water whatsoever, there would be -- grass in the
12 area would remain. There would not be a conversion of the
13 entire area to sagebrush.
14 MS. BELLOMO: Have you done an analysis of the Mattly
15 Meadow soil types?
16 MR. VORSTER: I have not. There is historical evidence
17 that, I think, other people will testify to.
18 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Excuse me, Mr. Caffrey.
19 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Yes, Mr. Birmingham.
20 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Mr. Vorster has been doing so well at
21 answering the questions. But the last --
22 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I am glad you approve.
23 MR. BIRMINGHAM: -- the last two questions he is
24 starting to revert to his habit of responding with more
25 information than is actually called for by the question.
01 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I will remind the witness again.
02 MR. VORSTER: I apologize. I strayed.
03 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: No need to apologize. We understand
04 your expertise and your vast knowledge of the area, but we
05 do need to stay on point, if we can.
06 Thank you, sir.
07 MS. BELLOMO: On Page 6, in the top paragraph, you
08 refer to the meadow south of Wilson Creek as sitting in a,
09 you refer to as a, quote-unquote, bowl of high groundwater
11 And my first question is: What studies did you do to
12 verify this?
13 MR. VORSTER: For the Conway Ranch EIR that was
14 prepared in the late '80s there were a number of
15 supplemental studies, including groundwater studies,
16 geotechnical studies, that discuss the groundwater
17 conditions in that area. And I think those reports refer to
18 it as a bowl, as a -- that the ridge just south of the bowl
19 acts to confine the groundwater. Groundwater barrier,
21 MS. BELLOMO: Have you done anything to determine what
22 the recharge source for this alleged high groundwater is?
23 MR. VORSTER: Yes. The recharge would, under natural
24 conditions, occur from all of the runoff from the mountains
25 above the Conway Ranch area, which, when the snow melts and
01 runs off, as soon as it hits the lower gradient land in the
02 meadow area, the water gets drunk up. It is very permeable
04 MS. BELLOMO: Have you done any other analysis to
05 determine if there is any other source of recharge for that
07 MR. VORSTER: In the bowl area?
08 MS. BELLOMO: Yes.
09 MR. VORSTER: It's possible that the unconfined
10 aquifer, the top most part of that bowl area, would be
11 recharged by excess flood irrigation.
12 MS. BELLOMO: In what location?
13 MR. VORSTER: In the bowl itself.
14 MS. BELLOMO: Isn't it possible that the -- let me back
15 up for a moment, please.
16 Are you aware that 10 to 12 cfs of water are spread on
17 Mattly Ranch to irrigate that ranch?
18 MR. VORSTER: Currently I think 10 cfs is diverted in
19 Upper Conway Ditch. Since that water does not go over to
20 Conway Ranch itself, it must all end up in Mattly, which I
21 would point out, as the water rights compilation shows, is
22 far in excess of its water rights.
23 MS. BELLOMO: Is it your testimony that the 10 to 12
24 cfs of water -- let me back up, so as not to get into
25 dispute with you.
01 Is it your testimony that the water that you just
02 testified goes into Conway Ditch over to Mattly Meadows, has
03 nothing to do with groundwater levels on Conway Ranch?
04 MR. VORSTER: I did not say that, no. If you want to
05 ask me a question --
06 MS. BELLOMO: Would you agree that it is possible that
07 the water that is spread on Mattly Meadow could be
08 contributing to the recharge of the bowl that you refer to
09 on Conway Ranch?
10 MR. VORSTER: I don't think so. And I would allow Dr.
11 Stine to also answer that question because we have looked at
12 that and --
13 DR. STINE: I will answer that question.
14 MS. BELLOMO: I am very limited on time, so I don't
15 want to get into Dr. Stine on this point.
16 MR. VORSTER: Here is Mattly Ranch, right here. Here
17 is the bowl area. The general direction of flow is in a
18 southeasterly direction. I find it, both from an
19 elevational standpoint and just the direction of flow, it
20 would be pretty difficult for water applied to here, to get
21 over to here.
22 I am sorry. I am saying here, I am referring to the
23 Mill Creek and Wilson Creek vicinity map, which I don't see
24 has a label, exhibit label, on it. But I am referring to
25 Mattly Ranch, which is to the southwest of the bowl of
01 Conway Ranch. And given the general direction of flow is
02 from the northwest to the southeast, I don't think very much
03 recharge of the bowl would occur from water applied on
04 Mattly Ranch.
05 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Canaday.
06 MR. CANADAY: The map that Mr. Vorster is referring to
07 is LADWP 65.
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, sir.
09 MS. BELLOMO: What is your source of being certain of
10 the direction of flow?
11 MR. VORSTER: Combination. It would be from the
12 surface topography. It would be from reading geological
13 reports and also consulting with the experts, such as Dr.
15 MS. BELLOMO: You say that the meadow south of Wilson
16 Creek could, in theory, be, in theory quote-unquote,
17 supplied by excess supply tailwater.
18 My question is: When you say tailwater, are you
19 referring to water coming out of powerhouse?
20 MR. VORSTER: No. I am referring to the excess
21 irrigation, irrigation water that is applied to the Conway
22 Ranch north of Wilson Creek that flows off the land.
23 MS. BELLOMO: When you say "in theory," I take it that
24 you haven't studied that?
25 MR. VORSTER: No. That is correct; I have not studied
02 MS. BELLOMO: Now with regard to Thompson Meadow and
03 your evaluation of the water irrigation requirements at
04 Thompson Meadow, you are not a soil expert, are you?
05 MR. VORSTER: I am not a soil expert.
06 MS. BELLOMO: So, I assume you didn't do any soil study
08 MR. VORSTER: I did not do any soil study. I did do
09 extensive research on irrigation water requirements for my
10 master's thesis and can testify to that.
11 MS. BELLOMO: Through that extensive research, I assume
12 that you learned that it is important to know the soil type
13 and to explore the soil type in an area before you reach any
14 conclusion about how much water is needed to irrigation it,
16 MR. VORSTER: Absolutely, you would want to do that.
17 MS. BELLOMO: You did not do that yet?
18 MR. VORSTER: I did not do that. As I said, my
19 estimates are rough estimates that are based upon the
20 consumptive use requirements of the meadow grass in the area.
21 MS. BELLOMO: Your estimates could be wildly wrong if
22 the soil types turned out to be, for instance, of a very
23 high permeability, correct?
24 MR. DODGE: Objection. Ambiguous. I don't know what
25 a wildly wrong thing is.
01 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Would you rephrase the question, Ms.
03 MS. BELLOMO: Your estimates could turn out to be
04 inaccurate if there was -- if it turned out that there was
05 high soil permeability, correct?
06 MR. VORSTER: Absolutely. Could be inaccurate. If it
07 was inaccurate by a hundred percent, then the water
08 requirement would be 2.6 cfs. Let's just assume that they
09 are inaccurate, that we double what I estimated, would be
10 2.6 cfs.
11 MS. BELLOMO: Can we assume that it might be 400
12 percent inaccurate?
13 MR. VORSTER: I would find that hard to believe because
14 that would be far in excess of the irrigation water
15 requirements in all the other lands in that area. I
16 consulted a number of studies and did my own measurements of
17 evapotranspiration requirements and that would be -- well,
18 it wouldn't be a wise use of water, if the irrigation duty
19 was ten feet per acre is what you are suggesting.
20 MS. BELLOMO: Why would that not be a wise use of water
21 if that is what the irrigation requirement was?
22 MR. VORSTER: Well, we are now venturing into a kind of
23 policy opinion. But, I think, given that water is limited
24 there, that we just have to decide whether applying ten feet
25 per acre on land is a wise use of water.
01 Excuse me, I think I said ten feet per acre. If it was
02 four times the amount that I estimated, it would be 16 feet
03 per acre.
04 MS. BELLOMO: Am I correct in understanding that you
05 didn't go to the Natural Resource Conservation Service to
06 obtain data regarding the soil types in the Thompson Meadow
08 MR. VORSTER: I did not do any consultation with
09 anybody about soil types in the area.
10 MS. BELLOMO: You testified on Page 6 of your
11 testimony, at Footnote 6, about a difference in your
12 estimate of the acre served by irrigation at the Thompson
13 and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power figures.
14 See where I am referring?
15 MR. VORSTER: Yes, I do.
16 MS. BELLOMO: You say that suspect that the disparity
17 in the numbers is because their lands are no longer
18 irrigated to the east of existing Thompson Meadow. Is that
20 MR. VORSTER: Yes, that is what I say there. I am
21 speculating. I asked the Department of Water and Power over
22 a month ago to what their current estimate of irrigated
23 acreage is, and I haven't got an answer yet. But the 90
24 acres, as I state in the footnote, is from measurements that
25 Scott Stine did off of aerial photographs that I have right
02 MS. BELLOMO: We are talking about a difference of 80
04 MR. VORSTER: The 170 acres that I have from
05 Department of Water and Power documents is from some
06 lease-type documents. As I said, I asked them -- I made
07 inquiries as to what the current irrigated acreage is, but I
08 haven't got an answer yet. But I think the question of what
09 the exact amount of irrigate acreage is could be determined,
10 one, either by asking the Department of Water and Power or,
11 I think, measuring it off the aerial photograph is a good
12 way to get a rough estimate.
13 MS. BELLOMO: When you look at the aerial photographs,
14 I am not familiar with that kind of photo, so I am asking
15 you perhaps -- and it is not a question. When you look at
16 that kind of aerial photograph, how can you tell if an area
17 isn't irrigated?
18 MR. VORSTER: You can tell by the color, one way. You
19 can see where xerophytic vegetation is in relation to the
20 greener, irrigated area. If you want to know exactly how
21 Dr. Stine did it, I would suggest you ask Dr. Stine.
22 MS. BELLOMO: I am trying to determine, basically, is
23 what you see on the photograph an area where there is
24 vegetation and an area where there is not, or a type of
25 vegetation that uses water?
01 MR. VORSTER: That requires supplemental water, what we
02 call phreatophytic vegetation. You can tell by looking at
03 an aerial photograph what areas would be getting either
04 supplement irrigation water or spring water, some water in
05 excess of the their natural -- the water requirement that
06 vegetation that exists naturally in the area requires.
07 MS. BELLOMO: In the areas that you testify in your
08 Footnote 6 no longer receive irrigation, would you agree
09 those are reverted to sagebrush?
10 MR. VORSTER: As I said, it is possible they have. I
11 haven't gone out there to specifically look at those areas
12 that were irrigated before and are no longer irrigated
13 today. I have heard from local residents there have been
14 reversion to sagebrush.
15 MS. BELLOMO: Turning to Page 6, in the middle of the
16 page, starting with the paragraph, "The 1.3 cfs requirement
17 can come from several sources," you have an a) and a b).
18 In b) you state a source could be runoff from Upper
19 DeChambeau Creek that sometimes is available in the peak
20 snow melt period.
21 And my question is: Are you saying that Thompson
22 Meadow should be irrigated from DeChambeau Creek water?
23 MR. VORSTER: Currently Thompson Meadow is irrigated
24 with a combination of Mill Creek and DeChambeau Creek water
25 because -- if I can refer --
01 MS. BELLOMO: I am concerned you are going to use a lot
02 of my time. My question is: Are you saying that Thompson
03 should be allowed to take water from DeChambeau Creek, not
04 its Mill Creek water right?
05 MR. VORSTER: Thompson currently does take water from
07 MS. BELLOMO: You approve of that; you think that is
09 MR. VORSTER: It is not something that I determine.
10 That is how the hydrogaphy, the plumbing system in the area
11 is; the water from Mill Creek goes into DeChambeau Creek and
12 then DeChambeau Creek goes to Thompson Meadow.
13 MS. BELLOMO: Let me rephrase that question, then.
14 My question is: Are you saying in point b) that
15 Thompson Meadow should be irrigated from water from
16 DeChambeau Creek in excess of amounts that are put into Mill
17 Creek under the Thompson Meadow water right?
18 MR. BIRMINGHAM: I am going to object to the question
19 on the grounds it ambiguous.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I am not sure I understood it, to be
21 quite honest, but I don't want to disallow you from asking.
22 Could you try it again, Ms. Bellomo?
23 MS. BELLOMO: To clarify for purpose of this Board,
24 DeChambeau Creek is the conduit for water from Mill Creek
25 that is used for irrigation on Lower Thompson Meadow,
02 MR. VORSTER: That is true. DeChambeau Creek runs
03 along the western edge of Thompson Meadow. It basically
04 withers into Thompson Meadow area.
05 MS. BELLOMO: You are saying in your testimony that
06 Thompson Meadow needs 1.3 cfs of water for irrigation,
08 MR. VORSTER: Rough estimate, correct.
09 MS. BELLOMO: If 1.3 cfs of water is put into
10 DeChambeau Creek from Mill Creek in order to get it down, to
11 transport it down to Lower Thompson Meadow, are you saying
12 in point b) that Thompson Meadow, the irrigator should be
13 allowed to use more than the 1.3 cfs of water to irrigate
14 Thompson Meadow.
15 MR. VORSTER: No, that is not what I am saying. I am
16 just suggesting if you need to fulfill this 1.3 cfs
17 requirement, or whatever it is, there are a number of
18 sources that you can look to. In peak snow melt period
19 there is water in Upper DeChambeau Creek that might be
20 available. Should be looked at as a possible source of
21 supply. I do know that there is an interest by some people
22 to maintain a year-round flow or continuous flow of water in
23 DeChambeau Creek through the Thompson Meadow.
24 MS. BELLOMO: You are saying that at times it wouldn't
25 -- rather than put 1.3 cfs of Mill Creek water into
01 DeChambeau and then take it out on Lower Thompson, that that
02 1.3 cfs could come from the DeChambeau water itself,
03 DeChambeau Creek water itself?
04 MR. VORSTER: It is one thing you might want to look
06 MS. BELLOMO: Currently the Department of Water and
07 Power doesn't have the water right to water from DeChambeau
08 Creek; is that correct?
09 MR. VORSTER: I don't know. The Thompson Meadow is
10 riparian to DeChambeau Creek.
11 MS. BELLOMO: Does the Mono Lake Committee have an
12 opinion as to whether there should be a minimum flow in
13 DeChambeau Creek down to the lake at all times?
14 MR. VORSTER: I don't know.
15 MS. BELLOMO: Do you have an opinion?
16 MR. VORSTER: Yes.
17 MS. BELLOMO: What is your opinion?
18 MR. VORSTER: Yes. It would be nice, although it is
19 the Thompson -- excuse me, the DeChambeau Creek Channel
20 through Thompson Ranch is not very well defined.
21 Occasionally, water flows in DeChambeau Creek below Thompson
22 Ranch from irrigation tailwater and flows through the County
23 Park and down to Mono Lake. In order to provide a
24 year-round flow into DeChambeau Creek, you have to restore
25 the channel and also look at whether, under natural
01 conditions, whether year-round flow through that reach would
03 MS. BELLOMO: So you don't -- am I understanding you
04 correctly, that you don't know whether DeChambeau Creek has
05 a year-round flow down to the lake?
06 MR. VORSTER: It is possible in the driest --
07 MR. DODGE: I would object to this line of questioning
08 on ground of relevance.
09 MS. BELLOMO: I think it is extremely relevant,
10 Chairman Caffrey, because the recommendation involves using
11 DeChambeau Creek water to irrigate Thompson Meadow, and this
12 would impact DeChambeau Creek.
13 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: This is kind of a difficult area
14 because we talked about this at the beginning of the entire
15 hearing procedure, how much detail are we going to get into
16 and all this. I am inclined to let you go ahead. You have
17 less than nine minutes to go to complete your
19 MS. BELLOMO: I am afraid that I am going to have to
20 ask you for a little extra time for Mr. Vorster.
21 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Perhaps we can do that this
22 afternoon. You can give me a showing when you get to the
23 end of your time, and we will make a judgment then.
24 Why don't you proceed.
25 MR. VORSTER: I want to clarify. As I said in my
01 testimony, I am looking -- I am recommending that several
02 different sources of water should be -- could be used to
03 irrigate Thompson Meadow. I am not saying -- I am not
04 making a recommendation that Upper DeChambeau Creek water
05 should be done. I am saying it should be looked at,
06 considered as a possible source of water. It is currently
07 -- I will just leave it at that.
08 MS. BELLOMO: You state on Page 4 that you have
09 observed diversions into the Upper Thompson Ditch in recent
10 years, and that the water redirected back to property along
11 Mill Creek.
12 To whose property was the water redirected?
13 MR. VORSTER: Page?
14 MS. BELLOMO: On Page 4.
15 MS. BELLOMO: Point c.
16 MR. VORSTER: Point c. You are referring to -- can you
17 repeat your question, please?
18 MS. BELLOMO: I am asking to whose property was the
19 water, the Mill Creek water, redirected.
20 MR. VORSTER: The water that I observed in Upper
21 Thompson Ditch that I saw redirected?
22 MS. BELLOMO: Yes.
23 MR. VORSTER: I don't know who the names of the people
25 MS. BELLOMO: How many times did you observe that?
01 MR. VORSTER: I think I saw it twice. But from talking
02 to Dave Marquart, it happened for a while.
03 MS. BELLOMO: You're acquainted with Jan Simis' water
04 right which you testified to.
05 And my question is: What do you base your statement on
06 that Jan Simis does not use her Mill Creek water right?
07 MR. VORSTER: As I stated in my testimony, that in the
08 last couple of years the water that was diverted in Upper
09 Thompson Ditch did not go over to Jan Simis' land. It was
10 either redirected or the water just wasn't diverted over
11 there. She relied on -- her property relied entirely on
12 DeChambeau Creek water.
13 MS. BELLOMO: Were you there looking on a daily basis?
14 MR. VORSTER: No. I took a tour of the area with Dave
15 Marquart, who is the ranch manager, and he briefed me as to
16 what -- how the water was managed the last couple of years?
17 MS. BELLOMO: Are you saying Dave Marquart informed you
18 that Jan Simis had not used her water rights, her Mill Creek
19 water rights for several years.
20 MR. VORSTER: I think that he said something to that
21 effect, that the last couple of years they had a hard time
22 getting water over there because of the problem that people
23 had been redirecting the water. To the extent that he was
24 able to stop that from happening, I assumed he can then
25 bring water over to his property. In many years there is
01 enough water in DeChambeau Creek. He is able to irrigate
02 his small amount of meadow with DeChambeau Creek.
03 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Ms. Bellomo, excuse me for
04 interrupting. We have a request for the spelling of the
05 name Marquart.
06 MS. BELLOMO: I think it is M-a-r-q-u-a-r-t.
07 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you.
08 Please proceed.
09 MS. BELLOMO: Are you suggesting that because Jan
10 Simis, in your testimony, has not used her Mill Creek water
11 right recently, that she should lose her water right?
12 MR. VORSTER: Absolutely not.
13 MS. BELLOMO: Then what is the relevance of whether she
14 has been using it or not?
15 MR. VORSTER: Because in talking to Dave Marquart, who
16 has talked to Jan Simis, we talked about the possibility of
17 her relying upon her DeChambeau Creek water to irrigate her
18 meadow and taking her right and making it available for
19 Thompson Meadow and for DeChambeau Creek itself.
20 MS. BELLOMO: So, she is considering dedicating her 1.8
21 cfs to Mill Creek?
22 MR. VORSTER: No. She hasn't stated that. I haven't
23 talked to her directly. I have discussed the possibility
24 with Dave Marquart that the water that she has a right to
25 from Mill Creek could be used for Thompson Ranch as well as
01 keeping a flow in DeChambeau Creek.
02 MS. BELLOMO: Does Jan Simis have a water right to
03 DeChambeau Creek water?
04 MR. VORSTER: Yes, she does. As far as I know, she
05 does. Dave Marquart informed me she does.
06 MS. BELLOMO: How much is her water right?
07 MR. VORSTER: I am not sure. Dave looked at the
08 documents, and it was hard for him to discern the exact
10 MS. BELLOMO: Do you know if it approaches in the
11 vicinity of 1.8 cfs?
12 MR. VORSTER: No. It is less than that, clearly less
13 than that.
14 MS. BELLOMO: Would she be asking -- if she were -- in
15 your discussions with Dave Marquart, were you discussing
16 giving up her 1.8 cfs water right, but getting some
17 additional water right to DeChambeau Creek to make up for
18 that loss?
19 MR. VORSTER: That possibility came up, but to the
20 extent that she doesn't need to use that amount of water for
21 her property, it wouldn't be necessary.
22 MS. BELLOMO: On Page 6, you state in the Mill Creek --
23 In the Mill-Wilson spreadsheets I assume
24 the historic diversions to the
25 Sylvester-McPhersen Ditch, which
01 averaged 1.8 cfs for the three-year
02 types, would continue to be diverted
03 from Mill Creek because it is equivalent
04 to the supply needed to maintain the
05 Thompson Meadow and leave a little water
06 to flow down Lower DeChambeau Creek through
07 the Mono County Park to Mono Lake.
09 Do you see where I am reading?
10 MR. VORSTER: Uh-huh.
11 MS. BELLOMO: And then you state:
12 It is the amount of the diversion, not who
13 the right belongs to or whether it is being
14 exercised that matters. (Reading.)
15 And this is what intrigues me. Are you saying that a
16 person should be able to use water from a creek whether or
17 not they have a right to it?
18 MR. VORSTER: No.
19 MS. BELLOMO: What exactly did you mean by that
21 MR. VORSTER: I assumed in that statement that Jan
22 Simis' property has a water right to both Mill Creek and
23 DeChambeau. And that, what is important, aren't the water
24 rights. What is important is -- again, we have to keep in
25 mind what we are trying to do here, which is to see if we
01 can maintain the Thompson Meadow, see that we can maintain
02 the Simis meadow and trees, and maximize the return of water
03 to Mill Creek. That is the goal here, in my opinion.
04 And to the extent that everyone does have a water
05 right, and the water is getting commingled anyway, it is not
06 the water right that is important; it is the amount of water
07 necessary to achieve those ends that I have mentioned.
08 MS. BELLOMO: Are you aware that below the County Park,
09 below Lower Thompson Meadow, there is a marsh area that is
10 maintained by the State Park Department?
11 MR. VORSTER: The State Department Park does not
12 maintain the marsh.
13 MS. BELLOMO: I stand corrected. The area that is
14 owned by the State Park or the State Lands Commission,
16 MR. VORSTER: Yeah. I am not sure exactly who the
17 landowner is. DWP owns the land above the County Park, and
18 since they are a private landowner, I guess, below the
19 County Park would belong to the State of California.
20 MS. BELLOMO: Putting aside either question, you are
21 familiar with that marsh?
22 MR. VORSTER: I am familiar with that general area,
24 MS. BELLOMO: You are aware that DeChambeau Creek flows
25 through that marsh area down to the lake?
01 MR. VORSTER: Yes.
02 MS. BELLOMO: Do you think it would be important to
03 determine the effects on that marsh area before allowing Jan
04 Simis to utilize water off DeChambeau Creek that could
05 impact the flow down to the lake?
06 MR. VORSTER: I just want to reiterate, she is
07 currently using water mainly off DeChambeau Creek, so it
08 really wouldn't be any change.
09 MS. BELLOMO: Do you know how much she is using?
10 MR. VORSTER: No.
11 MS. BELLOMO: How much are you proposing that she
12 should be allowed to use in the future if she gives up her
13 1.8 cfs?
14 MR. VORSTER: I am proposing that she be allowed to use
15 whatever is necessary to maintain the meadow and the trees
16 on her property.
17 MS. BELLOMO: Are you proposing that regardless of
18 whether that resulted in the DeChambeau Creek not having
19 flow down to the lake so that the creek couldn't flow
20 through the marsh area?
21 MR. VORSTER: I know that Jan is interested in
22 maintaining a flow in DeChambeau Creek, and she is
23 interested in making her irrigation as efficient as possible
24 to do that.
25 MS. BELLOMO: Are you interested in making the flow
01 into DeChambeau Creek through the marsh below the County
03 MR. VORSTER: Am I interested?
04 MR. BELLOMO: Yes.
05 MR. VORSTER: Sure. I can tell you that the reach
06 below the County Park is a gaining reach because of
07 accretion and spring flow, under natural conditions.
08 MS. BELLOMO: I assume you have done studies of that?
09 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Ms. Bellomo, excuse me. You have
10 exhausted the hour, that guidelines that we have for
12 How much more time do you think you need?
13 MS. BELLOMO: I think I need approximately 15 more
14 minutes, Chairman Caffrey.
15 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I am a little concerned about that
16 because I fear now we are getting into a level of
17 specificity. If you recall my instruction that was in our
18 written documents and also what I have reiterated a couple
19 times, that if we are getting into a lot of detail about
20 water rights here, that I think we should have to repeat in
21 another proceeding. If this proposal to water Mill Creek
22 was going to go forward, it would require a water right's
23 proceeding and an EIR, and I suspect that all this level of
24 questioning would have to be repeated.
25 Is that not the case, Mr. Frink?
01 MR. FRINK: I believe it is, Mr. Chairman.
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I am reluctant to give you more
03 time -- you have used the entire hour and you will have
04 another opportunity to do this if this goes forward. That
05 is what concerns me. I will give you five more minutes if
06 you can complete five more, and then we will take a break
07 for lunch. I really don't want to go beyond that.
08 MS. BELLOMO: Chairman Caffrey, I would just like to
09 put on the record that this is one of the witnesses that is
10 of most importance to the People from Mono Basin
11 Preservation and the community in general, that I am asking
12 questions that have been provided to me by many people from
13 the local community, that we have spent three days, and now
14 on our fourth day here, and spent very little hearing time
15 asking questions of any witnesses. And I would ask your
16 indulgence to allow me to ask these questions, and if at any
17 particular point you find a particular question to be beyond
18 the scope of what you think I should be asking, that you cut
19 me off.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: What I am asking for is your
21 cooperation. Because if we do it on micro basis, question
22 by question, these are gray areas. The point that I want to
23 focus on is, though, that this is probably all going to have
24 to be repeated. And you will have that opportunity. I am
25 just interested in proceeding with dispatch, so that we can
01 get through all this.
02 MS. BELLOMO: The problem is that I haven't touched on
03 certain areas of Mr. Vorster's testimony. So I am not
04 intending to spend the next 15 minutes repeating the
05 subjects I have already covered. I am going through his
06 testimony and maybe in more detail than you would have
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I will give you from now till noon
09 to stay on point, and that will have to be the amount of
10 time that you are allowed for the cross-examination of these
12 MS. BELLOMO: So, for the record, I am being allowed an
13 extra seven minutes?
14 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Yes. I think that is about seven
15 and a half minutes, if my eyes are serving me correctly.
16 MS. BELLOMO: Thank you very much.
17 Did you do any studies, Mr. Vorster, to determine what
18 the effects of reducing irrigation to 1.3 cfs would be on
19 the land below Thompson Ranch at the County Park and
20 vegetation in the marsh below the ranch?
21 MR. VORSTER: No, I have not.
22 MS. BELLOMO: Am I correct that you didn't do any
23 studies to determine the source of the water supply and the
24 vegetation below the County Road below Thompson Meadow? Did
25 you do any studies?
01 MR. VORSTER: Yes, in a broad sense. When I was doing
02 my master's thesis, that was one of the things I looked
03 at. I look at -- I mapped all the phreatophytic vegetation
04 around the lake shore to determine what the water loss was.
05 So, I have studied that area, and looked at what the natural
06 supply of water would be and what is supplemental. I tried
07 to make that distinction. That area you are talking about
08 has a large component of natural spring flow.
09 MS. BELLOMO: The whole area?
10 MR. VORSTER: Yeah, the area below the County Park that
11 you are referring to has a lot of springs.
12 MS. BELLOMO: Actually, my question was broader than
13 that. As to whether you have determined the source of water
14 supply and the vegetation along the entire length of the
15 County Road below Thompson Meadow.
16 MR. VORSTER: Not in a specific sense, but more in a
17 general sense.
18 MS. BELLOMO: Would you agree that, at times, as much
19 as 10 to 15 cfs of water is spread on Lower Thompson Meadow?
20 MR. VORSTER: I know 10 to 15 cfs was diverted from
21 Mill Creek. Whether that amount got to Thompson Meadow, I
22 don't know.
23 MS. BELLOMO: Have you done any studies to determine
24 where the irrigation water that is spread on Thompson Meadow
25 goes, if it migrates anywhere off the meadow?
01 MR. VORSTER: I assume that there is -- I have seen
02 surface water flow across the County Road because of excess
03 irrigation. I have also, at times, seen it in the creek
04 that goes through the park, that has water intermittently
05 due to the presumed excess irrigation that occurs above the
06 County Road.
07 MS. BELLOMO: What environmental changes have you
08 identified that will result in the north end of the Mono
09 Basin if your proposal is adopted?
10 MR. VORSTER: I am sorry, you are asking what study --
11 MS. BELLOMO: What environmental changes have you
12 identified, if any, that will occur in the north end of the
13 basin if your Mono Lake Committee proposal that you set
14 forth in your testimony is adopted?
15 MR. VORSTER: That is an open-ended question, and I
16 don't think -- I see if I can --
17 MS. BELLOMO: How can it be open-ended? I asked: What
18 changes have you identified that would occur?
19 MR. VORSTER: To the extent that there would be less
20 water going on the Thompson Meadow and that area, there
21 would be less surface water just flowing across the County
22 Road, which I observed at times.
23 I don't think -- I think the intent of the Mono Lake
24 Committee proposal is to preserve the basic environmental
25 structure that we have there: the meadow vegetation, the
01 cottonwood trees, and the basic components of the
02 environment there would be maintained. So I don't think
03 there would be any -- I do not think there would be any
04 significant environmental change in the Mono Lake Committee
06 MS. BELLOMO: In the north end of the basin?
07 MR. VORSTER: To the extent that 25 acres of the Upper
08 Thompson Meadow would not be irrigated, that there may be
09 some change there. To the extent that Mattly Meadow would
10 not be as extensive or would not be irrigated, there may be
11 some change there in terms of the length of the time that
12 the meadow is green or moist.
13 And I would say the other change would be that the
14 fishery in Wilson Creek might be impacted.
15 MS. BELLOMO: At this point you haven't determined
16 whether it would or not?
17 MR. VORSTER: I am not a fisheries' expert, but I
18 consider there would be less water in Wilson Creek under the
19 Mono Lake Committee proposal, so there might be an impact to
20 the fishery.
21 MS. BELLOMO: Would you exact any change in the
22 riparian habitat on Wilson Creek as it passes through Conway
24 MR. VORSTER: I am not a riparian expert. I think that
25 would be -- there is testimony to that effect from the State
01 Lands Commission. I am not an expert.
02 Again, the intent of the Mono Lake Committee's proposal
03 is to maintain the basic riparian structure through the
04 Conway Ranch. There may be some changes. Again, I am not
05 an expert.
06 MS. BELLOMO: Do you have any opinion as to whether
07 there would be any change in the riparian habitat on Wilson
08 Creek below the Conway Ranch if your Mono Lake Committee's
09 proposal were adopted?
10 MR. VORSTER: I would answer it the same way. I would
11 refer to the experts, and they providing testimony to that
13 MS. BELLOMO: That there would be?
14 MR. VORSTER: No. There is possibly to the extent that
15 there is not as much water in that reach as there is today.
16 Although, those riches don't always surface flow. But to
17 the extent that there is less water below Conway Ranch than
18 there has been historically, it is possible there may be
19 some change. Although the riparian vegetation in that area,
20 it's not extensive at all. But, again, I would defer to
21 other experts.
22 MS. BELLOMO: I don't want to abuse your generosity in
23 letting me have additional time, so I will stop at this
25 Thank you.
01 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I appreciate you're understanding,
02 Ms. Bellomo.
03 Let me just state the hour of noon having arrived, we
04 will take a lunch break. I'd like to take a 45-minute break
05 so we can get a head start on the afternoon.
06 Let me also announce that I don't plan to go beyond
07 4:30, a quarter to 5 at the latest today. Before I
08 absolutely make that the rule I want to check with Mr.
10 Am I correct in understanding that Mr. Stine cannot be
11 here, Dr. Stine cannot be here today; is that right?
12 MR. DODGE: My understanding is that Dr. Stine cannot
13 be here tomorrow and that he can be here until on 1:00 on
15 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: If we run out of time and haven't
16 completed with his testimony and cross-examination, for that
17 matter, we can - we will take it up on Wednesday.
18 MR. DODGE: I am confident we can get through at least
19 that much.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Let's be back here at a quarter to
22 Thank you.
23 (Luncheon break taken.)
01 AFTERNOON SESSION
03 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Good afternoon and welcome back.
04 We had finished the cross-examination of this panel by
05 Ms. Bellomo, and we will proceed from there.
06 Is Mr. Haselton here?
07 Did you wish to cross-examination these witnesses,
08 sir? Welcome.
09 MR. HASELTON: Thank you, Mr. Caffrey. I just have, I
10 believe, two very quick questions for Mr. Harrison.
13 BY ARCULARIUS RANCH
14 BY MR. HASELTON
15 Q. Mr. Harrison, I am looking at your testimony on Page
16 3. Essentially, I have two questions of clarification. And
17 that is at the bottom of Page 3 you state what you were
18 asked to do, and that was to investigate options for
19 obtaining recommended channel maintenance flows in Rush
20 Creek and then you qualify that with a series of bullets,
21 and you go on to the next page.
22 My question to you is: Were you asked by your clients
23 to review the recommended channel maintenance flow that is
24 described in Decision 1631?
25 MR. HARRISON: Don't recall that I was.
01 MR. HASELTON: In preparing your testimony you also
02 state you reviewed documents, and I guess the next question
03 is: Did you have an opportunity or did you, in fact, review
04 Decision 1631?
05 MR. HARRISON: I think I do have a copy of it, and I
06 did look at, but it's been sometime ago.
07 MR. HASELTON: The answer to that question is, yes, you
08 did review?
09 MR. HARRISON: Yes.
10 MR. HASELTON: That is it.
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Mr. Haselton.
12 I didn't see Mr. Ridenhour. Is Mr. Ridenhour here?
13 Mr. Ridenhour is not here.
14 Mr. Roos-Collins.
15 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Afternoon. Mr. Chairman, my green
16 light has started even before I do.
17 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Mr. Johns is very anxious.
18 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Before I begin my cross-examination
19 I do have -- I need to inform you of certain scheduling
20 constraints for the witnesses that constitute California
21 Trout panel.
22 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: All right.
23 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Mr. Vorster is available today, but
24 not Tuesday or Wednesday. Dr. Mesick is available today,
25 but not Tuesday. And Dr. Stine is available today, but not
01 Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.
02 Now, I understand that you have more than your share of
03 scheduling difficulties to deal with. I don't propose a
04 remedy at this time. I simply note that this is the last
05 opportunity for Mr. Vorster to testify on behalf of
06 California Trout as well as the Mono Lake Committee during
07 the dates that you have currently scheduled for this
09 I also note that my other witnesses are not going to be
10 be available again until Wednesday.
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: We'll do everything that we can to
12 accommodate, including, if need be, if we get -- we'll take
13 an assessment this afternoon, and if we are running out of
14 availability, we may have to take a little time tonight, I
15 would imagine. We will try to avoid that if we can.
16 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Thank you.
19 BY CALIFORNIA TROUT, INC.
20 BY MR. ROOS-COLLINS
21 Q. Mr. Vorster, my questions for you concern Pages 9 and
22 10 of your written testimony. Your comparison of channel
23 maintenance flow schedules and also your Attachments 10 and
24 11, which also make the same comparison.
25 Your testimony compares several channel maintenance
01 proposals to unimpaired flows on Rush Creek; is that correct?
02 MR. VORSTER: That is correct. That is what I show on
03 Attachment 11.
04 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Unimpaired means not regulated by
05 human facility or activity?
06 MR. VORSTER: That is correct.
07 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: When were the flows of Rush Creek
08 first impaired?
09 MR. VORSTER: Irrigation diversions on Rush Creek
10 probably occurred in the late 19th century, to a limited
11 degree, and caused some impairment during the irrigation
12 season. The most significant impairment occurs -- started
13 to occur around 1920 when the predecessor to Southern
14 California Edison built reservoirs in the upper watershed of
15 Rush and Lee Vining Creek.
16 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: By 1949, when Los Angeles received
17 its water right permits for Rush Creek, flows were already
19 MR. VORSTER: Yes, they were.
20 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Does Decision 1631 require Los
21 Angeles' Stream Restoration Plan to compare channel
22 maintenance proposals with unimpaired flows?
23 MR. VORSTER: No, it doesn't.
24 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Does it even require a channel
25 maintenance proposal?
01 MR. VORSTER: No.
02 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: So, in preparing your testimony,
03 what was your purpose in comparing the channel maintenance
04 proposal now before this Board with unimpaired flows?
05 MR. VORSTER: My purpose was twofold, and it was really
06 guided by the philosophy and testimony provided by the
07 stream scientists, in particular Dr. Trush. I think on Page
08 9 of my testimony acknowledged their commitment and
09 understanding that the unimpeded flow regimes are
10 appropriate flows determining contemporary channel dynamics
11 and potential for recovery. This is from the October 1995
12 draft workplan of the stream restoration scientists.
13 So, the flow recommendations that they provided use the
14 unimpaired flow regime as, what I call, a guide post. And
15 it is because, as the stream scientists themselves
16 acknowledged, the habitat conditions that were there, that
17 we're trying to restore, were the result of the unimpaired
18 flows that had occurred for thousands of years before that,
19 before 1941.
20 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Let me break your answer into two
21 parts. In preparing your testimony, then, you assumed that
22 the channel conditions, which existed in 1941, had been
23 caused by unimpaired flows?
24 MR. VORSTER: Yes, or were the result of unimpaired
01 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: You also assumed that restoration
02 of Rush Creek requires something like unimpaired flows?
03 MR. VORSTER: Yes. Again, using unimpaired flows as a
04 guide post. I think Dr. Trush also articulated the point
05 that for the streams to function in an alluvial manner that
06 his observations on the creeks confirmed that they were
07 functioning alluvially and as a result of the unimpaired
08 flows, that the unimpaired flows were the flows that would
09 allow the streams to function in the way that he felt that
10 they could function
11 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: You arrived at your assumptions
12 regarding unimpaired flows in part from Dr. Trush's 1995
14 MR. VORSTER: Yes, and subsequent conversations that I
15 had with him and the monitoring plan that was submitted by
16 Dr. Trush.
17 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Let me move on now to a related
18 issue. I ask you to assume for the purpose of this line of
19 questioning, that a flow of magnitude 350 cubic feet per
20 second is needed to mobilize the channel better. I ask you
21 to assume that, not opine that. Assuming that a flow of 350
22 cubic feet per second is a desirable flow in the channel
23 maintenance schedule, how often would that flow occur under
24 unimpaired conditions?
25 MR. VORSTER: In looking at the period of record, 1940
01 through '89 or '41 through '90, that 50 year period,
02 approximately three-quarters of the time, a flow of 350 cfs
03 or greater would occur under unimpaired conditions.
04 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Unimpaired?
05 MR. VORSTER: Unimpaired.
06 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: For the purpose of that answer, you
07 calculated what unimpaired flows would be, on the basis of
08 impaired flows from 1941 to 1990?
09 MR. VORSTER: Right, and adjusting it for the storage
10 change in the Southern California Edison reservoirs.
11 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: An unimpaired flow of 350 cubic feet
12 per second would occur in 75 percent of the years?
13 MR. VORSTER: Right. It would actually occur -- it
14 occurred in 75 percent of the years. And in some of those
15 years, it occurred more than once.
16 It would occur, perhaps, let's say in late May, again
17 in middle of June and maybe again in early July. It would
18 have multi peaks.
19 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: For the sake of clarity in the
20 record, let me ask that you confine further answers to
21 frequency stated in terms of years, in other words, in how
22 many -- in what percentage of the years would a flow of this
23 magnitude occur. And your answer is 75 percent?
24 MR. VORSTER: Yes, approximately.
25 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: How often do impaired flows equal or
01 exceed 350 cubic feet per second?
02 MR. VORSTER: In far less number of years. I think Dr.
03 Beschta in his testimony, which I don't have right in front
04 of me, provided --
05 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Mr. Vorster, I am providing you Dr.
06 Beschta's testimony which is Los Angeles Exhibit 27.
07 MR. VORSTER: In Dr. Beschta's testimony, Exhibit DWP
08 Number 27, in Table 2, he gives us some -- we can't answer
09 that question directly, but he does show that a flow of
10 somewhere between the wet normal and wet year types the
11 estimated impaired peak flow for the median year would be in
12 the 350 cfs range.
13 A 350 cfs flow, I think, under impaired conditions
14 would occur, if my memory serves me correctly, probably in
15 about 20 percent of the years. But I would have to refer to
16 documents that I don't have in front of me.
17 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Under D-1631, how often would the
18 flow equal or exceed 350 feet per second?
19 MR. VORSTER: Under D-1631, there was no requirement to
20 release flows of that magnitude. They would occur in wetter
21 years or very wet and extreme years just because, before,
22 Los Angeles didn't have the ability to divert the water,
23 and so flows in excess of 350 would occur occasionally. But
24 there was no requirement in D-1631 to release flows of that
01 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Under Los Angeles' proposal, as
02 stated in its Stream Restoration Plan, how often would the
03 flow exceed 350 cubic feet per second, equal or exceed?
04 MR. VORSTER: They would have flows in excess of 350
05 cubic feet per second in the normal to wet normal, wet and
06 extreme years, which represents about 45 percent of the year
07 type, in 45 percent of the year.
08 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: On the basis of the document review
09 you did in preparation for your testimony, do you have an
10 opinion regarding the comparative durations of a flow of 350
11 cubic feet per second under the four scenarios we just
12 discussed, namely unimpaired, impaired, D-1631, and Los
13 Angeles' proposal?
14 MR. VORSTER: With D-1631 flows of 350 cfs would occur,
15 as I said, in the wet and extreme years. And so, it would
16 be difficult for me to say how often, what the duration that
17 would occur in those year types. If I can refer to
18 attachment 11 --
19 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Please.
20 MR. VORSTER: Just so you understand what Attachment 11
21 is, I took the different year types that have been used for
22 Rush Creek, and I took representative years to represent a
23 typical year in that year type. And I then looked at what
24 the recommended channel maintenance flows were for the
25 different proposals: Decision 1631, DWP proposed flow
01 regimes, the ad hoc subcommittee's recommendation in
02 February 1996, and the scientists' October 1995
04 And in the lighter type we have the magnitude and
05 duration of their recommendations. And I compared the
06 duration with the unimpaired in that particular year type.
07 So, for example, if you wanted to look at a 1980 wet year,
08 you would see that the scientists' recommendation of 500
09 cfs for five days in that year type, in that particular
10 year, there were 15 days in excess of 500 cfs. In fact, the
11 peak flow was 801 cfs.
12 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Mr. Vorster, excuse me. Before you
13 proceed further with explanation of Attachment 11 to your
14 written testimony, could you focus specifically on the
15 magnitude of 350 cubic felt per second and explain to the
16 Board what this comparison shows with regard to that
17 magnitude specifically?
18 MR. VORSTER: Well, we don't have a 350 listed except
19 for the scientists' flows in normal one and normal two. So
20 we will have to use the flows closest to 350 cfs, as
21 something close to that.
22 So, for example, in DWP's proposal normal two years,
23 you have flows of 380 cfs for five days, and in that
24 particular year, 1979, there were 25 days in excess of 380
01 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: 25 days of unimpaired flows?
02 MR. VORSTER: Right. And the ad hoc also recommended
03 380, and the scientists', in October 1995, recommendation
04 was 400. And, indeed, 25 days exceeded 400 cfs.
05 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Does this attachment show us
06 unimpaired flows -- excuse me, impaired flow?
07 MR. VORSTER: No. This is comparing proposed channel
08 maintenance flow recommendations with the unimpaired flows
09 in these particular years and comparing them both in
10 duration and magnitude. It shows the magnitude of the
11 unimpaired peak flows in these particular years.
12 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: I understand that it is difficult
13 to summarize the duration associated with any given flow
14 across all of these different proposals.
15 Would it be correct, however, to conclude that Los
16 Angeles's proposal would equal or exceed 350 cubic feet per
17 second for a shorter duration than unimpaired flows?
18 MR. VORSTER: Yes.
19 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Let's move on now to a different
20 flow magnitude, now 500 cubic feet per second. Again, I ask
21 you to assume that 500 cubic feet per second. Is that flow
22 necessary to start a physical process such as flood plan
24 Given that assumption, how often would unimpaired flows
25 equal or exceed 500 cubic feet per second?
01 MR. VORSTER: In about half the years.
02 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: At least once.
03 MR. VORSTER: At least once the flows exceeded 500 cfs.
04 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: How often did impaired flows -- how
05 often do impaired flows equal or exceed 500 cubic feet per
07 MR. VORSTER: During the period 1941 to 1990, they
08 exceeded 500 cfs, I think, twice, 1967 and possibly 1983. I
09 would have to check that. So, four percent -- in four
10 percent of the years. In 1995 they also exceeded 500 cfs.
11 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Under Decision 1631, how often would
12 the flows exceed equal or exceed 500 cubic feet per second?
13 MR. VORSTER: The same. Because in those year types,
14 if we had years similar to 1967 and 1983 occur in the
15 future, under D-1631, Los Angeles would have no choice but
16 to release those flows down the stream into Grant Lake.
17 Grant Lake would spill or -- excuse me, in 1967 Grant Lake
18 would spill and the flows -- if Grant Lake spilled the flows
19 would be greater than 500 cfs under D-1631. It's likely
20 that Grant would spill in those years.
21 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: You began your answer by saying "the
22 same." You mean the same as you prior answer?
23 MR. VORSTER: Yes, I'm sorry.
24 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Approximately four percent of the
01 MR. VORSTER: Correct.
02 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Finally, under Los Angeles'
03 proposal, how often would flows equal or exceed 500 cubic
04 feet per second?
05 MR. VORSTER: In Los Angeles' proposal, 500 cfs or
06 more would occur in the extreme year type, which represent
07 eight percent of the years. Extreme years are 1983, 1969,
08 1982, and I think maybe '67. I can't remember if '67 was
09 considered a wet or extreme year. But in 4 out of the 50
10 years, the flows would equal or exceed 500 cfs.
11 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Let me turn now to a third issue and
12 my last with you, which is the impact on Los Angeles'
13 operations of dedicating more water to channel maintenance
14 than required by Decision 1631.
15 Do you have the Grant Lake Operations and Management
16 Plan in front of you?
17 MR. VORSTER: No, but I can get it.
18 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Let me show this plan, which is Los
19 Angeles -- this plan, and specifically Page 51, final
21 Los Angeles estimates that compliance with the base and
22 channel maintenance flow requirement of D-1631 would require
23 approximately 76,000 acre-feet of water on average during
24 the transition period, and compliance with the lake target
25 requirement would require an additional 30,000 acre-feet or
02 Do you see that discussion?
03 MR. VORSTER: Yes. I would slightly clarify your
04 reading of that. I think they say the long-term average
05 release requirement to the Mono Basin streams of 76,000
06 acre-feet per year. I think they are representing that as
07 the base flow requirement, the fish flow requirements, if I
08 read that correctly. And during the transition period on
09 average an additional 30,000 acre-feet above and beyond the
10 minimum stream flow requirements will be released into the
11 Mono Basin creeks.
12 I would have to -- I am not sure that 30,000 does or
13 not -- does or does not include the channel maintenance flow
14 requirements of D-1631. But I think it may not.
15 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: You are familiar with the plan's use
16 of the term "lake maintenance water" to describe that block
17 of 30,000 acre-feet on top of the stream requirements.
18 MR. VORSTER: Yes.
19 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: If this Board were to adopt a
20 channel maintenance schedule in excess of the one already
21 required by Decision 1631, where would the water come from?
22 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Objection. Calls for speculation.
23 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: It probably does.
24 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Mr. Roos-Collins can ask him to
25 identify sources of the water, but he can't ask him to
01 identify where the water would come from.
02 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: I withdraw the question.
03 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: That is a fair ruling, Mr.
04 Birmingham. Thank you.
05 MR. BIRMINGHAM: You're welcome.
06 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I was just going to say that.
07 MR. DODGE: I am getting a little concerned here. When
08 I complained to you about my sources -- my place in the
09 cross-examination earlier in this proceeding, I was laughed
10 out of room. Mr. Birmingham complains last week, and he
11 immediately was put where he wants to be. Now he is making
13 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I will let you rule before this
14 hearing is over.
15 MR. DODGE: Thank you.
16 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: You get one ruling.
17 The question is withdrawn, so there is no need to rule
18 in this particular case.
19 Go ahead, Mr. Roos-Collins.
20 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Mr. Vorster, assuming that for the
21 purpose of this question that water is not imported from Lee
22 Vining Creek, and assuming further that this Board amends
23 Decision 1631 to require channel maintenance flows in excess
24 of those already required, can the additional flows come
25 from what is characterized here as lake maintenance water?
01 MR. VORSTER: Yes.
02 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Thank you.
03 No further questions.
04 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you very much, Mr.
06 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Ms. Cahill, good afternoon.
07 MS. CAHILL: Afternoon.
10 BY DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME
11 BY MS. CAHILL
12 Q. Mr. Harrison, I would like to start with some questions
13 on your testimony. On Page 7 of the testimony, you estimate
14 the cost of a Grant Lake tunnel outlet and you state that
15 you have added 30 percent for contingency, which you believe
16 to be conservative.
17 Is that right?
18 MR. HARRISON: Yes. I believe the overall estimate to
19 be conservative.
20 MS. CAHILL: By conservative, do you mean -- would you
21 explain what you mean by conservative in this case?
22 MR. HARRISON: The real costs are likely to be less
23 than the estimated cost, definition of conservative for this
25 MS. CAHILL: So, it would be your opinion that an
01 estimated contingency allowance of 40 percent would be
02 higher than required?
03 MR. HARRISON: Perhaps not. It depends on the level of
04 unknowns. I put on this particular case, easily, since the
05 contingency is in the range of 30 to 40 percent.
06 MS. CAHILL: But expecting the actual cost to always be
08 MR. HARRISON: Yes.
09 MS. CAHILL: Further down in Table 1 you cost out three
10 Howell-Bunger valves. Can you tell us what size of
11 Howell-Bunger valves you were costing?
12 MR. HARRISON: That I more or less followed DWP's lead
13 and assumed 30-inch valves. These are, again, approximate
14 estimates of the cost.
15 MS. CAHILL: Did you have Los Angeles' figures where
16 you prepared your testimony?
17 MR. HARRISON: I did.
18 MS. CAHILL: So, can you explain the discrepancy where
19 you cost a 30-inch Howell-Bunger valve at $50,000 each, and
20 Los Angeles costs them at $125,000 each?
21 MR. HARRISON: Well, I don't know that is a specific
22 discrepancy. I quoted both a price here for valves and for
23 valve installation. So there is not that big -- quite that
24 big a difference as implied by the numbers for the valves
25 themselves. I think SCE's figure includes both their
01 furnishing the valve and installation.
02 MS. CAHILL: If you sum your purchase and
03 installation, what is the total cost?
04 MR. HARRISON: It would be $66,667 there from the
06 MS. CAHILL: For three of them?
07 MR. HARRISON: For three of them, it would be three
08 times that or $200,000.
09 MS. CAHILL: That is still well below Los Angeles'
10 estimate of $375,000?
11 MR. HARRISON: Yes, it is.
12 MS. CAHILL: You discussed various methods of achieving
13 flows of 600 cfs in Rush Creek; is that correct?
14 MR. HARRISON: Yes. I discussed those methods proposed
15 by DWP. I did not bring up any new methods.
16 MS. CAHILL: With regard to flows of 600 cfs, is it
17 your opinion that a new release facility would be able to
18 release those flows more reliably than what we call the Lee
19 Vining augmentation?
20 MR. HARRISON: Yes, that is my opinion.
21 MS. CAHILL: You have explained a little bit of what
22 Iowa vanes are. And do they result in continuous sediment
24 MR. HARRISON: No. They would result in sediment
25 passage when there is sufficient flows of sediment
01 manufactured in the system. When there is no sediment
02 moving in the system, they would not be passing sediment.
03 MS. CAHILL: Would they be passing gravel or just
05 MR. HARRISON: They could pass gravels as wells as
06 fines. Depends on the flow velocities and configurations.
07 MS. CAHILL: Would you expect them, for the cost that
08 you estimated, to pass gravel or would that take additional
10 MR. HARRISON: My estimate is construction cost. It
11 does not estimate the engineering studies or design that
12 should go into this.
13 MS. CAHILL: So, it would depend on the design, whether
14 they were actually able to pass gravel as well?
15 MR. HARRISON: Right. I feel confident that designs
16 could be developed that at given flows it would pass
18 MS. CAHILL: Are you familiar with Iowa vanes that have
19 actually be installed on various rivers?
20 MR. HARRISON: Physically, I've personally never seen
21 one. I've seen videos, pictures, and videotapes of model
23 MS. CAHILL: Do you have any idea what the O&M costs
24 would be of Iowa vanes solution?
25 MR. HARRISON: No. I would expect it, however, to be
01 quite low. They're not a mechanical system. They are a
02 fixed and active-passive type device.
03 MS. CAHILL: This Iowa vane solution would not allow
04 the upstream migration of fish, would it?
05 MR. HARRISON: It would make no difference.
06 MS. CAHILL: The third option, the bypass channel,
07 could you pull up your graphic? You mentioned that this was
08 a high flow bypass; is that right?
09 MR. HARRISON: Yes. I said high flow. It could also
10 release -- I would also explain it could release flows
11 throughout the year that were in excess of the needs for
13 MS. CAHILL: Were you aware that Los Angeles'
14 proposal is to let Walker and Parker Creeks, basically, flow
15 through in all years except dry years?
16 MR. HARRISON: I am not aware of that specific
17 statement at this time. I probably read that and I have
18 forgotten it.
19 MS. CAHILL: Let me ask you if there is another
20 plausibility. Assume that on Walker Creek and Parker Creek
21 the flows that come downstream continue downstream in all
22 year types except the dry years. So that they would come
23 down and make the circle and go on in almost all cases.
24 MR. HARRISON: You are stating there would be no
25 diversions in this?
01 MS. CAHILL: No versions at all in all year types with
02 the exception of dry. So that the high flows for which you
03 designed would always be going around. And that in those
04 dry years it would be necessary to divert on Walker 4 cfs
05 and 6 cfs, and on Parker 6 cfs and 9 cfs. I don't know
06 quite how to ask you this without sort of coming to the
08 If all you needed to pass was a maximum of, let's say,
09 9 cfs only in dry years, instead of having your division
10 structure here that divides the flow, could you instead
11 design the channel so that almost all the time the entire
12 flow goes in your bypass channel with some sort of
13 structure, using boards or some other facility, so that in
14 the 20 percent of the year when those low flows are required
15 to be released, they could be released to then be put into
16 the conduit?
17 MR. HARRISON: Yes, that is avery easy possibility,
18 very easy to accomplish.
19 MS. CAHILL: Would that tend to be more expensive or
20 less expensive than what you have designed?
21 MR. HARRISON: I think it would probably be about the
22 same. Still have to have attach some kind of headwork
23 structure to accomplish that. I haven't detailed this
24 headwork structure in any way.
25 MS. CAHILL: If the headworks structure were here, as
01 opposed to across this whole channel, would then upstream
02 fish migration be a possibility at all times?
03 MR. HARRISON: Well, I am not a fisheries' expert
04 either, so I don't think I will respond to that.
05 MS. CAHILL: Fair enough.
06 There would be no impediment in that hypothetical where
07 the structure is used to release water into the pond and the
08 conduit, there would not need to be a barrier across the
09 bypass channel?
10 MR. HARRISON: True. What I have shown here, it looks
11 like a dam. This is a cartoon. It isn't an engineering
12 drawing. So, certainly, in my imagination about what this
13 thing could look like, it could be designed to allow fish --
14 unimpeded water for fish, I believe, to swim up. Expert or
16 MS. CAHILL: Thank you very much.
17 Actually, I think those are the only questions I do
18 have for you. One last one. You indicated that you had had
19 the opportunity to review Los Angeles' numbers. Their cost
20 estimates for a fish and bypass sediment on Walker and
21 Parker Creek is $1.6 million.
22 Do you believe that to be in the ballpark?
23 MR. HARRISON: I looked at their estimate. I really
24 didn't understand what they were trying to design in costs,
25 so I really am not in a position to comment on it, other
01 than it seems very high to me.
02 MS. CAHILL: For the type of facility you have designed
03 here, which you said would be probably about the same cost
04 as what I was describing, tell us again what you think the
05 construction costs of that might be.
06 MR. HARRISON: Construction of a bypass channel, as I
07 estimated, is $250,000 Lee Vining Creek and 50,000 each for
08 Walker Creek and Parker Creek.
09 MS. CAHILL: Thank you.
10 Mr. Vorster I have few questions for you.
11 In your testimony, you addressed what we call the Lee
12 Vining augmentation as a method of getting up to flows of
13 approximately 500 cfs on Rush Creek.
14 How often will the Lee Vining augmentation need to be
15 used if Los Angeles' plan is implemented?
16 MR. VORSTER: It would need to occur in 40 percent of
17 the year types, which is the wet normal, wet and extreme
18 year types.
19 MS. CAHILL: In your opinion, is the reliability of the
20 Lee Vining augmentation, is it as reliable as a new release
21 facility from Grant Dam would be?
22 MR. VORSTER: No. As I testified, it would not be as
23 reliable. I think the events in 1996 confirm that.
24 MS. CAHILL: You testified with regard to the timing of
25 the peak on Rush Creek, that it might be delayed as much as
01 three weeks the way the plan is described?
02 MR. VORSTER: In some years it could be delayed as
03 much as three weeks.
04 MS. CAHILL: What are the impacts then on Lee Vining
05 Creek of this augmentation plan?
06 MR. VORSTER: Well, there are a number of possible
07 effects. Depending on exactly how well the forecasting and
08 backcasting procedure that DWP has outlined were, it is
09 possible, for example, that the Lee Vining peak flow, the
10 primary peak, would be diverted.
11 Or what we do know is that flows of up to 150 cfs will
12 be diverted on the backend of the peak flow hydrograph,
13 which could take out up to three-quarters of flow.
14 MS. CAHILL: So, in other words, when we talk about
15 magnitude, timing, and duration, at a minimum this might be
16 affecting the duration of the Lee Vining peak?
17 MR. VORSTER: That's correct.
18 MS. CAHILL: What happens in those years when there
19 might be multiple peaks on Lee Vining Creek?
20 MR. VORSTER: In those years where there are multiple
21 peaks, which is the normal situation, snow melt hydrograph,
22 such as we see in Lee Vining Creek, you do get multiple
23 peaks and peaks, secondary peaks, that would occur after the
24 primary peak, assuming that DWP is able to predict when the
25 primary peak occurs, would be diverted, and you wouldn't
01 have the benefit of that secondary peak.
02 MS. CAHILL: So, we would be, in effect, not having the
03 natural variability that you would otherwise have in the
05 MR. VORSTER: You would, basically, be restricting the
06 Lee Vining Creek to a potentially a single peak, similar to
07 what Grant Lake is going to be doing to the Rush Creek peak.
08 MS. CAHILL: Did you attempt to model what the Lee
09 Vining augmentation might do in certain years?
10 MR. VORSTER: I am not sure if I would use the word
11 "model." What I did do is, I looked at a couple year
12 types, for example 1980, which is a wet year, and 1982,
13 which is an extreme year. And I tried to put myself in the
14 position of being a DWP operator and trying to apply the
15 procedures that they have outlined that would occur, both
16 this forecasting and backcasting procedure. And it's
17 unclear exactly when they would begin their diversion for
18 augmentation. Because when you're actually in that
19 situation, you don't have the benefit of knowing what is
20 going to occur. All you have is the benefit of your
21 forecast that suggests approximately a window of time when
22 you expect your peak to occur and the approximate
24 But, obviously, in any particular year type the unique
25 situations will determine those, when they would occur. So
01 it is possible, for example, that in looking at 1980 and '82
02 and it is -- if we had flows, runoff, similar to those, that
03 in 1982, for example, which is an extreme year where 150 cfs
04 is required to be diverted, that the flows -- if 150 cfs
05 were diverted, the flows would drop below D-1631 minimums.
06 Of course, DWP would not allow that to occur. So, you would
07 not be able to get the full 150 cfs.
08 MS. CAHILL: You wouldn't be able then to get the full
09 amount, which, added to the upgrade return ditch, would give
10 500 cfs?
11 MR. VORSTER: That is correct.
12 MS. CAHILL: In that year what you did get, would it be
13 later than the ordinary peak on Rush Creek?
14 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Objection. Ambiguous.
15 MS. CAHILL: In that year that you looked at, when you
16 did augment with Lee Vining, even though it was less than
17 the full 150, would that water arrive at Rush Creek at a
18 time later than the Rush Creek peak?
19 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Objection. Ambiguous.
20 MS. CAHILL: Would it arrive later at the impaired Rush
21 Creek peak?
22 MR. VORSTER: I looked at -- again, it is hard to say
23 exactly when they would divert. That is one of the
24 problems, because the procedures are not real clear in my
25 mind in terms of how the forecasting and backcasting
01 procedures would actually be implemented. Let's say it
02 leaves some discretion, obviously, to the operator as to how
03 to implement them, given as they are stated right now. So,
04 it is possible that, depending on when the Lee Vining
05 diversions occur, that the Rush Creek peak with the
06 augmented flows would occur after the unimpaired peak. It
07 is possible that they could time it to be more closely
08 aligned. But then, if they did that, they'd probably be
09 diverting the Lee Vining Creek peak.
10 MS. CAHILL: Can you just tell me what you mean by
12 MR. VORSTER: That is actually a term that I think I'll
13 give Dave Allen credit for it. Or if he doesn't want to
14 take credit for it, I will take credit. Just a term that
15 the two of us have been using in describing procedure that,
16 as he explained it to me, that is the way you can tell that
17 a peak flow has occurred in Lee Vining Creek is in looking
18 at the historic record, that if there have been seven
19 consecutive days of declining flow, you would be assured
20 that the peak has occurred. In other words, during the peak
21 flow hydrograph you get flows that go up and down, up and
22 down. When they finally start declining for seven
23 consecutive days, you know, at least based upon historical
24 records that we have, that you will have passed the peak.
25 So, it is only by seeing how many consecutive days of
01 declining flow that there has been and seeing that it has
02 been seven or more days, well, you have known that peak has
04 MS. CAHILL: Even then, there is uncertainty, is there
06 MR. VORSTER: The future can always be different than
07 the past.
08 MS. CAHILL: Let me switch briefly over to the
09 Mill-Wilson Creek system. Given current circumstances, is a
10 portion of Mill Creek dry with some regularity?
11 MR. VORSTER: Oh, yeah. In those years when there is
12 not a spill from or release from Lundy Dam, the common
13 occurrence for most of the year is that Lee Vining Creek,
14 down around the County Road --
15 MS. CAHILL: You mean Mill Creek?
16 MR. VORSTER: I'm sorry, Mill Creek. I had to
18 Mill Creek, down around the County Road, is dry or has
19 residual pools because, especially during irrigation season
20 when the water that is in Mill Creek, this spring flow gain
21 that is Mill Creek and any water return from the Wilson
22 ditch by the Mill Creek Return Ditch, any water that is in
23 Mill Creek is going to diverted by the irrigation ditches.
24 If there is water left over, which might be, you know,
25 anywhere from 2 to 5 cfs, if any, by the time it gets down
01 to the County Road, there is very little, if any, water
02 left. It is a fairly common occurrence during the summer.
03 It is -- actually, when Larry Harrison and I were there last
04 October, we, indeed, saw just pools of water down at Mill
05 Creek. It's --
06 MS. CAHILL: If Los Angeles were to dedicate its water
07 right and do nothing more, would there still be periods in
08 which Mill Creek would go dry?
09 MR. VORSTER: Yes. If Mr. Reise can turn the folders
10 back to the first one, Scenario 1, Scenario 1, as it is
11 currently displayed, says expected the Mill-Wilson flows if
12 DWP dedicates existing rights and appropriate October
13 through April water. So, if we just look at the period May
14 through September, that is the irrigation period in which
15 DWP could dedicate their rights, you can see in a dry year
16 that Mill Creek below the County Road is restricted to less
17 than cfs here [verbatim]. Again, to me that represents a
18 condition that it may have water; it may not have water.
19 MS. CAHILL: If they didn't also get the appropriation,
20 what would happen in the winter months?
21 MR. VORSTER: If they did not get the appropriation,
22 you would just basically take away these numbers and make
23 them zero.
24 MS. CAHILL: We need to describe what that is.
25 This is --
01 MR. VORSTER: I'm sorry. This Scenario 1, and I am
02 describing Mill Creek below the County Road in any of the --
03 especially the normal and dry year types, and, in fact, in
04 the wet year types. If they do not -- if they are not
05 successful in appropriating the water from Wilson or from
06 the power plant discharge, then there will be, essentially,
07 no water in Mill Creek down around the County Road unless
08 they are able to -- they have a 1 cfs right that, if they
09 are able to feel they can bring that over in the wintertime,
10 there would be that amount of flow they can bring back. By
11 the time you get down to the County Road, it would not be
13 If they were not successful in getting their
14 appropriation, then the flow, Mill Creek at County Road,
15 would be zero or very little flow.
16 MS. CAHILL: From approximately October through --
17 MR. VORSTER: October through April. Basically, any
18 time the water flow was less than 12 cfs. The impaired at
19 Lundy Reservoir was less than 12 cfs, which you can see on
20 this exhibit for Scenario 1, looking at the impaired at
21 Lundy Reservoir in all the different year types, it's fairly
22 uncommon for the flows to be above 12 cfs.
23 MS. CAHILL: Wilson Creek, given current circumstances,
24 does part of Wilson Creek go dry in dry years?
25 MR. VORSTER: Yes. I have observed in dry years Wilson
01 Creek being dry below the Conway Ranch.
02 MS. CAHILL. If Los Angeles dedicated its water right
03 to Mill Creek, would you expect that to increase the number
04 of years in which Wilson Creek might go dry or have not much
06 MR. VORSTER: It would have some impact. It would
07 increase the amount of time that Wilson Creek could go dry
08 below Conway Ranch.
09 MS. CAHILL: Thank you very much. Thank you all.
10 I have questions for Dr. Stine, but they fit more in
11 his testimony for Cal Trout. I will hold them till then.
12 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Ms. Cahill.
13 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Mr. Caffrey, I would like to ask for
14 an opportunity of a recess to confer with Mr. Dodge, Ms.
15 Scoonover, Ms. Cahill on an issue of some importance, and
16 Mr. Roos-Collins.
17 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: How much time do you all need?
18 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Ten minutes.
19 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Let's take a brief recess for 10 or
20 15 minutes.
21 (Break taken.)
22 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: We're back from our recess.
23 Gentlemen, did you --
24 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Actually, we would like at this point,
25 Mr. Caffrey, to ask for another recess. But let us take a
01 few moments and explain the reasons for it.
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Please.
03 MR. BIRMINGHAM: The Department of Water and Power of
04 the City of Los Angeles has been, as you know, talking with
05 a number of the other parties to this proceeding concerning
06 a settlement. It has reached agreement in principle with
07 the California Department of Fish and Game, California
08 Trout, Incorporated, the Mono Lake Committee, National
09 Audubon Society, State Lands Commission, Department of Parks
10 and Recreation. But we have not had an opportunity to --
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: And U.S. Forest Service.
12 MR. BIRMINGHAM: And the U.S. Forest Service, excuse
14 We have not had an opportunity to talk about our
15 settlement proposal with the People from Mono Basin
16 Preservation, nor BLM, nor Arcularius Ranch. We would like
17 to ask for another brief recess so we can present it to
18 them, with the hope that if they think this is something
19 worth pursuing, we would ask the State Board to continue the
20 hearing for a period of time to allow us to put the
21 agreement in writing.
22 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Let me just tell you that I can't
23 speak for Ms. Forster, but I suspect that she is going to
24 agree with me. We are certainly amenable to help you in any
25 way we can, to at least present an atmosphere and provide
01 you the opportunity to reach some kind of settlement.
02 Obviously, it has to -- well, it doesn't have to. The more
03 parties that you can involve in it, the easier life becomes,
04 in terms of this hearing process, for all of us.
05 MR. DODGE: Without discussing the details, we are not
06 free to discuss the details with you. I have every reason
07 to believe that this settlement in principle should be
08 acceptable to the other parties to this proceeding.
09 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: You said a brief recess. Do you
10 want to come back again this afternoon or take a recess
11 until tomorrow morning? I mean, we will try to be flexible.
12 What is it that you need? And recognizing, too, that Ms.
13 Bellomo and others are on limited time.
14 MR. BIRMINGHAM: They are completely in the dark on
15 this. I suspect we probably would like to come back this
16 afternoon, if possible. What I was thinking was perhaps a
17 15 minute to half an hour break. The one condition that we
18 would ask for is that the terms of the discussions that we
19 have with them remain confidential. Because in the event
20 that we are unable to reach agreement with all the parties,
21 we would not want the discussions that have occurred to
22 become public and prejudice the position of any of the
23 parties to those discussions.
24 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: By that, I assume that if you all
25 can agree in principle that you have something, you don't
01 want to tell the Board the details until you pound it out
02 and come back after a more extended recess.
03 MR. DODGE: And equally important, if we can't agree,
04 that we don't want the terms of our discussion disclosed to
05 third parties or to the Board or to staff. In fact, we
06 filed with the Board last September or October a stipulation
07 of confidentiality.
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: You did.
09 MR. DODGE: We would like any party who wants to
10 discuss the tentative settlement to agree to the terms of
11 that stipulation.
12 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Ms. Forster.
13 MS. FORSTER: What were you going to say, Jerry?
14 MR. JOHNS: I was going to ask the parties here, are
15 they willing to agree to that or not?
16 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Is that agreeable to the parties for
17 the purposes of discussion, to keep it confidential?
18 MS. BELLOMO: If I could just ask for clarification at
19 this point. I know that since we are an organization, I
20 know principals of the organization, they must have some
21 circle of people that are allowed to know. Right? For
22 instance, Buddy Hoffman probably knows about the terms of
23 the settlement. Again, within your organization we have a
24 circle of people who are our decision making, you know,
25 participate in the decision making. We would like them to
01 be privy to it as well. Since we have Heidi Hess-Griffin,
02 the secretary and treasurer of our group, she should be
03 privy to it, I would think.
04 With that understanding, that would be fine.
05 MR. DODGE: As long as the people who are privy to it,
06 agree to keep it just to yourselves, that is not a problem.
07 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: And, of course if it doesn't go
08 forward, that confidentiality still abides, so to speak.
09 MR. DODGE: That is actually the purpose of it, of
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Absolutely.
12 Is BLM agreeing?
13 MR. RUSSI: I would agree to going along with the
14 stipulation of confidentiality.
15 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Let's ask this, is there any party
16 who objects?
17 Mr. Haselton?
18 MR. HASELTON: We agree. Same concern as Ms. Bellomo
19 had within -- I represent basically two entities. That I
20 just need to have definition of who I can share that with.
21 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: If I hear this, then you have
22 confidential circles that you are all separately a part of
23 which do not extend very far and which you need to share
24 information with them in order to get authorization to
25 either agree or disagree, so to speak.
01 I don't see anybody objecting to that, so, that being
02 the case -- I am sorry, Mr. Dodge.
03 MR. DODGE: I was going to add, I think at least within
04 the group that has this tentative settlement, our feeling
05 is, subject obviously to Board's decision, but our feeling
06 is that if there is some party to this proceeding that does
07 not agree in principle to the settlement, that we ought to
08 proceed with testimony. And that if, on other hand, all
09 parties agree in principle to the settlement that we ought
10 to defer testimony for a period of time and try to get an
11 agreement in writing.
12 Now, let me say that this is not the simplest
13 settlement that I have ever dealt with, and, you know --
14 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: I don't find that hard to believe.
15 MR. DODGE: There will be many steps between an
16 agreement in principle and a written agreement. I happen to
17 believe that the parties that have been privy to these
18 negotiations are all acting in good faith, and those steps
19 can be taken. But there is no guarantee of that.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Certainly, the reason we are all
21 here is for one main reason, and that is to provide not only
22 the protection of the Lake, which we have done to some great
23 degree, but also protection of the streams and the
25 And anything that we can do to facilitate that and
01 expedite that is something that this Board is very, very
02 interested in. So, I certainly am amenable to -- let's
03 start out by granting at least a half hour recess right now,
04 and then see where that brings us, and when we come back we
05 can have some more discussion.
06 Again, I would say, I would want to consult with Mr.
07 Frink when we get to that point, a half hour from now. I
08 can certainly see a situation where it might not make a lot
09 of sense to continue today if you have an agreement in
10 principle with everybody. But we can get to the details of
11 that in a little while.
12 MR. DODGE: I would think that the rest of the day
13 would best be spent by Ms. Bellomo and her group and the
14 Arcularius group and the BLM getting on the phone, to
15 whomever they have to get on to the phone to, and rather
16 than testimony. But, again, it is up to you.
17 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: That may very well be. That is
18 where I personally come down. We'll -- why don't you have
19 your half hour discussion and come back and see where we
20 are. I just don't want to jump ahead of everybody and not
21 allow them to have their say.
22 Let's try for a session in about ten minutes to --
23 let's just make it 3:00. Will that help?
24 Why don't we all come back at 3:00, and we will just
25 kick it around a little bit and see where we are.
01 (Break taken.)
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: All right. Welcome back everybody.
03 Do we have a report?
04 MS. BELLOMO: May I report for our group?
05 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Please, Ms. Bellomo.
06 MS. BELLOMO: We need to consult with members of our
07 group, and we would like to get back to you tomorrow morning
08 with some sort of response, maybe a final response or status
09 report. Until we talk to people, I wouldn't know.
10 So my proposal would be that we continue this afternoon
11 to make use of the time, in the event this doesn't manifest.
12 Then we are still going to need to go forward with
13 cross-examination of people. Seems like a good time, time
14 well spent if we did that today. But anyway, I certainly
15 would leave that up to you.
16 The other questions that I had was without divulging
17 any of the terms of the settlement, is there any possibility
18 that there is anyone on the Water Board staff that could be
19 made available to us just to help us understand what the
20 process would be like if there isn't a settlement, not to
21 talk about the settlement itself. I don't know that we
22 really understand the proceeding well enough here to know
23 what is it we are giving up or how a settlement would be
24 dealt with or anything like that.
25 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: It depends on the settlement.
01 Depends on the details of the settlement. I don't know. Is
02 that appropriate, Mr. Frink?
03 MR. JOHNS: We can address some of that now.
04 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Depends on how the parties felt
05 about it, obviously.
06 MR. FRINK: I would say that everyone should understand
07 that, even if a settlement is reached among the parties, the
08 Board still has to be satisfied that the plans or elements
09 of the plans that it directs to be implemented, meet the
10 requirements of Decision 1631. And it is conceivable that
11 the parties may come up with a proposed settlement that
12 doesn't do something that the Board wants done or it is
13 conceivable that they propose that the Board oversee
14 something that the Board isn't interested in overseeing. It
15 can greatly, greatly shorten and simplify the procedure.
16 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: That is what I meant by depends on
17 the settlement.
18 MR. FRINK: Even if a settlement is reached amongst the
19 parties, it is not the end of the process. The Board would
20 put out a proposed decision, and there would have to be a
21 Board meeting adopting it and so forth.
22 MS. BELLOMO: Proposed decision on the settlement? Or
23 decision on the settlement or --
24 MR. FRINK: They would put a proposed order on the
25 reclamation plan, maybe based very much on the settlement,
01 if the Board decided that is the way to go.
02 If the Board decided that the settlement did not cover
03 a lot of things that it thought should be covered and it
04 wanted more evidence, it could resume the hearing. But we
05 wouldn't know that until the Board sees and can discuss the
07 MS. BELLOMO: If there were a settlement that was a
08 settlement of some of the parties, but not all of the
09 parties, then what is the procedure here?
10 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Say potential procedure.
11 MS. BELLOMO: Would you go through --
12 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Some of the parties are -- let's
13 say some of the parties settled, and that could be brought
14 into the hearing record and other parties could examine it,
15 and the Board can take its final action considering the
16 settlement, giving weight of evidence to whatever way it
17 feels is appropriate.
18 MS. BELLOMO: We would go forward with the presentation
19 of the parties and their original testimony, those that had
20 not settled?
21 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Yes. In short, we would -- it
22 would somehow be folded into this proceeding. It might have
23 an impact on who would be interested at that point in
24 cross-examining or how much they would want to do. But we
25 would still see the process to the end, in some fashion.
01 MS. BELLOMO: If there was a settlement signed by all
02 the parties, then would there be no further presentation of
03 evidence by those parties? For instance, our group would
04 then not present our testimony here, or would you go forward
05 and take all the testimony, enter it into the record that it
06 already has been offered?
07 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Again, it depends on the details of
08 the settlement. If you were to tell us today that all --
09 this is hypothetical. If you all would come and say, "Gee,
10 we think we are real close to something. We don't know what
11 value it is to continue going through the process that we
12 are going through now; we'd like a recess for a week or so
13 because we think we are going to be able to put this thing
14 on paper, and we think you are going to like it, Board." I
15 can't speak for Ms. Forster, but I think I would be amenable
16 to that.
17 The other thing I would not want to do, though, is I
18 would not want what we have done here thus far to get stale,
19 if you will. I would not want to give too much time.
20 Because, if things did not work out among the parties, we
21 might have to come back in here sooner than later and keep
22 all this going. We all have a lot invested in this. I just
23 don't want to throw this out. Some time, some hiatus would
24 be appropriate if we all agreed to it.
25 MR. JOHNS: It also might be helpful if the parties
01 could dress through their stipulation, or perhaps outside of
02 that, how they wanted the rest of the hearing to go. It is
03 possible, for example, that we could rely on the written
04 testimony that has been presented, and not have to go
05 through the oral testimony and the cross and the rebuttal
06 and all that stuff. As you guys talk about those kinds of
07 actions, it would help us a lot to get input from you on how
08 you thought we should proceed from here.
09 MS. BELLOMO: I could ask of the other parties, do you
10 have rules of practice and procedure that govern settlement
11 procedures here?
12 MR. FRINK: Not really. I do have -- the Board has
13 that experience in one other instance in which a proposed
14 settlement was offered, and everybody thought that it
15 resolved everything. It turned out that it didn't, and the
16 status of the evidentiary record was left very unclear. I
17 don't think we want to get into that again. A number of the
18 exhibits and a lot of the testimony have already been
19 admitted into the record.
20 It would probably be helpful if, as a part of the
21 settlement proposal that the parties who made that,
22 stipulated to submit the remaining exhibits. That way we
23 wouldn't be in a bind if there were some loose ends that we
24 needed some evidence on.
25 MS. BELLOMO: That answers my question.
01 Thank you.
02 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Ms. Bellomo.
03 Mr. Haselton, were you going --
04 Where is Mr. Haselton?
05 I think you wanted to speak, and then we will go to Mr.
07 MR. HASELTON: I apologize for causing any delay.
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: That's all right.
09 MR. HASELTON: I think I might have made a mistake in
10 using the term "horse trade" with my client who is a
11 cattleman, and they never use that term. It goes into a
12 whole different realm. Takes you literally.
13 MEMBER BROWN: You used the wrong species.
14 MR. HASELTON: I did. I've been hanging around with
15 those folks for a long time.
16 First of all, I want to extend my appreciation to Mr.
17 Birmingham, Mr. Dodge, Mr. Roos-Collins, Ms. Cahill for
18 taking the time to make sure we understood what their
19 thoughts are and concerns.
20 Our concern has always been, as kind of a unique party
21 of having access to this whole proceeding, and as I
22 understand it, please anybody interrupt me, as I understand
23 it, that this idea of a settlement is something that we are
24 being asked to agree with in principle. There is going to
25 be a set time frame until we see something in writing, to
01 then which we may or may not commit to.
02 Is that correct?
03 UNIDENTIFIED VOICE: Correct.
04 MR. HASELTON: With that understanding, we do, on
05 behalf of my clients, the Arcularius Ranch and United Cattle
06 Company, to agree to those, that understanding.
07 With that, thank you.
08 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, Mr. Haselton.
09 Mr. Russi, did you have something? You were probably
10 another person that was out on the phone, I guess. Is that
12 MR. RUSSI: I was talking on the phone, yes.
13 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Keep track in my head who is in and
14 who is about to come in, or whatever.
15 Go ahead.
16 MR. RUSSI: Thank you. I cannot say for certain here
17 today that BLM will agree to be part of the process. I can
18 only tell you that there is a high likelihood that once I
19 talk with people here in Sacramento tomorrow morning that I
20 will be instructed or someone will be instructed to become a
21 part of the process or proceeding towards reaching a
23 As a public land agency, we are basically required to
24 enter into things like that. I think that is what is going
25 to happen for us.
01 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: We certainly want to give you time
02 to talk to your principals, and certainly Ms. Bellomo time
03 to talk to the people that she is representing. I just need
04 to raise the question with regard to the availability of
05 these witnesses.
06 Does it make any sense to at least finish this panel
07 tonight, so we can at least have a reasonable cutoff point
08 on the record? How about that? Or is there another
10 MR. DODGE: Peter and Scott will be back Wednesday
11 morning. I would like to finish with Larry Harrison.
12 MR. VORSTER: I wasn't going to be back Wednesday
14 MR. DODGE: That's right.
15 I would like to finish with --
16 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: We have not yet heard from Ms.
17 Scoonover for cross-examination, nor from the City of Los
18 Angeles, Department of Water and Power, and then we would go
19 to potential of redirect and recross.
20 MR. DODGE: I think the most important thing is for the
21 People for the Preservation of Mono Basin to use their time
22 to consider their position. But, again, if people have
23 limited questions of Mr. Harrison, maybe we can at least
24 finish him.
25 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: What that means, of course, is that
01 if we don't proceed any further today, then we are,
02 obviously, going to have to come up with a new schedule,
03 with another day added, because -- is there a problem for
04 Mr. Mesick, as well? Maybe I am losing track of all of
05 this. If we don't finish with this panel today, and we
06 don't get to Mr. Mesick today, then, obviously, we are going
07 to have to add another day beyond Wednesday if, in fact, we
08 have to continue with the extended hearing, so to speak.
09 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: We have not yet started Cal Tout's
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Right.
12 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: Dr. Mesick is not available
13 tomorrow. He is available Wednesday. Dr. Stine is
14 available Wednesday morning. However, Mr. Vorster, who is
15 the third member of the panel, will not be available after
16 this afternoon on the remaining days we have designated this
18 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Has anybody kept track of this. I
19 don't think I am available.
20 Ms. Forster.
21 BOARD MEMBER FORSTER: I have a question about how this
22 proceeds. If there are several parties that are working
23 towards an agreement on the settlement, why would they have
24 to continue to cross-examine and do that? Is it just to put
25 a closure on this. I mean, I can see why --
01 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: It really isn't necessary. Just an
02 attempt at practicality.
03 BOARD MEMBER FORSTER: I am not denying anybody. Maybe
04 they don't want to do it.
05 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: That is why I am raising the
06 question. It is a question, if people are available. I
07 have no problem with adding another day or two for the
08 entire proceeding. I would like to hear from all of you.
09 We try to be accommodating. If people have other things to
10 do with their lives, I realize that.
11 Mr. Birmingham is going to help us out here. I just
12 feel it.
13 MR. BIRMINGHAM: I am not sure I will help you out. I
14 do have questions for this panel. But the reason that I
15 jumped up at 2:00 this afternoon and asked for the recess
16 was because I am confident that we will reach an agreement
17 which, ultimately, the Board will like. And I don't see any
18 purpose in going forward with the cross-examination of any
19 witnesses if the prospects of reaching an agreement is good.
20 And from my perspective and, I think, Mr. Dodge and the
21 other lawyers who have been involved, will agree that there
22 is very good prospect.
23 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Let me put it this way, if anybody
24 has a compelling need to continue with the cross-examination
25 of these witnesses, understanding full well that if we don't
01 come to an agreement, we may have to add extra days.
02 Any problem with that anywhere?
03 MS. BELLOMO: I just have one comment.
04 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Yes, Ms. Bellomo.
05 MS. BELLOMO: Which probably can be accommodated,
06 given everyone's schedule here, which is, that in the event
07 that we don't reach settlement, I don't have any problem
08 with the idea of going forward with additional days. But
09 could we stick with tomorrow, my husband and I testifying?
10 I am not sure that he will be able to come back again after
11 these three days. And it sounds like, tomorrow, many people
12 aren't available, anyway. Would that be possible if we
13 don't reach settlement and if we don't continue on later
15 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Well, I think what we might do, we
16 are all here now, anyway. I presume we are all going to be
17 here in the morning. Why don't we do this, why don't we all
18 -- you are going to talk to your people, the people you
19 represent tonight, and maybe that is a question that won't
20 need to be answered tomorrow morning, and maybe what I
21 should is maybe we will already have the answer to that by
22 the reaction that you get. If we all come back here
23 tomorrow morning at 9:00, we'll hear from you first, Ms.
24 Bellomo, on how things went with your folks and maybe that
25 will give us some enlightenment on how to proceed.
01 MS. BELLOMO: Could I ask who will be available
02 tomorrow to testify, if, in the event we go forward, so we
03 have some idea if we are testifying tomorrow, if we don't
05 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Well, my understanding is that Mr.
06 Vorster and Dr. Stine will not be here tomorrow. Mr.
07 Harrison will not be here tomorrow; is that correct?
08 MR. HARRISON: Can be here tomorrow.
09 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: You can be, sir? All right.
10 MR. HARRISON: It is up to Bruce.
11 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: It would mean that the staff is
12 going to have look at the schedule again and make sure that
13 we have everybody covered. We will be as accommodating as
14 we can.
15 Mr. Frink or Mr. Johns, excuse me.
16 MR. JOHNS: Actually, we could start out tomorrow as
17 set forth in the February 10th memo. We can start with
18 Terry Russi, finish off with the cross of Terry, and then
19 Ms. Bellomo and then take up Fish and Game. Skip over the
20 parties that are currently in agreement and perhaps put off
21 Fish and Game, depending on how they wanted to proceed. If
22 they want to present their case until after they solve what
23 happened with the negotiations. We could finish off Terry
24 and get into the Bellomos tomorrow, if that is agreeable.
25 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: My understanding is that everybody
01 is going to be here tomorrow except certain members of this
02 panel and Mr. Mesick; is that right?
03 So, we will just do the best we can from there. The
04 schedule is what it is. We will hear from Ms. Bellomo
05 tomorrow, and then we will see where we are. And if we have
06 to proceed, we will fashion it as best we can.
07 Mr. Dodge.
08 MR. DODGE: Does the Chairman wish Mr. Harrison to come
09 back tomorrow or when this panel finishes up?
10 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Well, I had this sense of order. I
11 get the distinct feeling that nobody wants to finish today
12 when I asked a little while ago. I don't know. I leave
13 that up to somebody wiser than myself. I am flexible.
14 MR. DODGE: I would suggest that Mr. Harrison not come
15 back tomorrow, and we start with Mr. Russi tomorrow.
16 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: All right. Any objection with that?
17 Any problems with that?
18 MS. BELLOMO: Followed by the Bellomos?
19 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Sorry?
20 MS. BELLOMO: Does Mr. Dodge mean, followed by the
22 MR. DODGE: I would be happy to have the Bellomos come
24 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: All right.
25 You sure you want to ask? Go ahead, Mr. Haselton.
01 MR. HASELTON: So, following the schedule, then am I
02 to understand that Mr. Russi and after the Bellomos, but
03 then Fish and Game will not present a panel? Is that my
05 MR. DODGE: Time permitting, we will go forward.
06 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: We will just forge ahead tomorrow if
07 we don't have strong principles in agreement.
08 Hang on just a moment.
09 (Discussion held off record.)
10 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Back on the record.
11 Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your indulgence.
12 We'll be back tomorrow 9:00, and we will hear from Ms.
13 Bellomo, and we will proceed in the order we discussed a
14 moment ago.
15 Mr. Roos-Collins.
16 MR. ROOS-COLLINS: There are two parties you have not
17 heard from, Trust for Public Land and Dr. Ridenhour. We
18 have calls into them to determine their willingness to
19 follow the process we have discussed.
20 CHAIRMAN CAFFREY: Thank you, sir. And then you will
21 perhaps give us some feedback tomorrow morning, as well.
22 Thank you all for your patience. See you at 9:00 a.m.
23 MR. BIRMINGHAM: Thank you.
24 (Hearing adjourned at 4:20 p.m.)
01 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE
04 STATE OF CALIFORNIA )
04 ) ss.
05 COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO )
08 I, ESTHER F. WIATRE, certify that I was the
09 official Court Reporter for the proceedings named herein,
10 and that as such reporter, I reported in verbatim shorthand
11 writing those proceedings;
12 That I thereafter caused my shorthand writing to be
13 reduced to typewriting, and the pages numbered 1114 through
14 1269 herein constitute a complete, true and correct record
15 of the proceedings.
17 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have subscribed this certificate
18 at Sacramento, California, on this
19 6th day of March 1997.
24 ESTHER F. WIATRE
25 CSR NO. 1564