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the skunks of los feliz

From the GGPNC newsletter comes this somewhat surprising announcement:

The DWP has just issued a Draft EIR for the construction of a "major 7 mile long water pipeline... up to 8 feet in diameter... planned to be constructed between Silver Lake and Griffith Park". The innocuously named Lower Reach River Supply Conduit is all news to me and, I'd wager, 99% of affected Los Feliz/Silverlake/Atwater Village residents.

So what the hell is this thing?

To find out, I visited the DWP website to read the EIR, but the link to the PDF file is broken (the report is also available at the Los Feliz, Atwater Village, and North Hollywood branches of the L.A. Public Library, for those who have the time and inclination to schlep down to the library and dig through public records). However, the Notice of Availability provides some clues.

To wit: the pipeline, which the DWP says is needed to replace an older line, will be built in "existing street rights-of-way, LADWP property and existing easements, or open space/recreation areas in the Los Feliz and Silverlake communities (including Griffith Park)". The Notice further states that, rather unsurprisingly, "the proposed project would have a significant unavoidable impact on traffic and transportation and air quality during construction."


At the risk of engaging in knee-jerk NIMBYism, I will venture to say that whatever this thing is, I don't like it already. The DWP better have a iron-clad case to make to residents that this thing is necessary. This community already bears the brunt of horrendous traffic due to our proximity to the 5 and Griffith Park. It's hard to imagine what traffic will be like if the DWP starts digging up Los Feliz Boulevard for years of pipeline construction.

But first things first. The GGPNC will be taking up this issue at it's May 17th (election day!) board meeting, at 7 p.m. in the Hillhurst Citibank branch. The DWP will be on hand with a presentation which, I'm sure, will provide fodder for an interesting evening of citizen-city discourse.
I'm wondering if this project has anything to do with the overall plan to relocate the public water supply away from the Silver Lake reservoir?
It does, sorta. The main reason listed is to replace an antiquated, overloaded pipeline. The move away from open reservoirs is actually number 3 on a 4 item list of additional reasons, behind increased consumer demand and California Dept. of Health water safety regs.

So it seems relatively low on the DWP's depth chart. However, it wouldn't surprise me if the DWP brings up security concerns surrounding the drinking water supply as a way to bolster their case for the pipeline.
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