Broken Water Main to Big Pine Reservation Threatens Paiute Subsistence Farmers' Ability to Grow Food
In compensation for all of the water the City of Los Angeles takes from the Owens Valley, the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power (LADWP) is required by law to provide the Big Pine Reservation with 1116 acre feet of water per year. In April 2016 the water main leading to the Big Pine Reservation ruptured on LADWP land, and it resulted in tribal members being unable to grow food and extremely high fire danger. It has also affected air quality on the reservation because there is not enough water to keep the dust down on dirt roads.
The Big Pine Paiute Tribe is demanding that LADWP repair the water main and is requesting compensation for the water not provided in past years. The summer of 2017 threatens to be another costly dry season if the water main is not repaired soon.