The general public is invited to join the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission and the Great Basin Water Network via webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, for the first ever Great Basin Water Justice Summit, a FREE event that is bringing together communities fighting for water justice in the Great Basin.
The Summit will feature virtual panels and discussions with the organizers as well as representatives from various other groups and entities, including the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition, of which Friends of the Inyo is a leading member, the Sierra Club, Mono Lake Committee, Big Pine Paiute Tribe Environmental Department, Confederated Tribes of the Goshute, Great Basin Resource Watch, and others.
|“The Great Basin Water Justice Summit will enable communities and individuals to share information on water and the environment while building relationships to tackle important water, energy, and climate issues together,” said Teri L. Red Owl, Executive Director of the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission. “The collaborative relationships and strategies that emerge from the Summit will help build on the work that is ongoing and evolving. The Owens Valley Indian Water Commission encourages everyone interested in these important topics to attend the summit to learn more, to share, and to get involved.” Friends of the Inyo’s Executive Director, Wendy Schneider, said, “This Water Justice Summit is a very important event. It is high time that the water protectors in Inyo and Mono Counties join forces to push back against water extraction.” The public can register to attend the Summit virtually: tinyurl.com/WaterSummitD1. For more information about the Great Basin Water Justice Summit, please refer to the Summit flier above or contact Teri@oviwc.com.|
The Great Basin extends through most of Nevada, half of Utah, and sections of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and California in the United States, and Baja California in Mexico. According to the Eastern California Museum in Independence, this inland region is one from which water does not flow outward to any ocean. The area is dominated by a series of mountain ranges trending north-south and separated by long, narrow valleys. The Eastern Sierra and the Owens Valley are at the westernmost edge of the Great Basin.
According to the National Park Service, the terms Great Basin and Great Basin Desert are sometimes used interchangeably. The Great Basin Desert is the only “cold” desert in the United States, where most precipitation falls as snow. Until about 10,000 years ago, water was abundant here as glaciers advanced and retreated in a climate that was cooler than today, and numerous large lakes formed. Then, the weather started getting warmer and many of the lakes within the Great Basin dried up. As glaciers melted, the water seeped into the gravel subsurface and remained protected from evaporation. These reservoirs of groundwater, known as aquifers, remain beneath old lake beds. Aquifers are recharged from surface precipitation, typically snowmelt. In the Great Basin Desert, however, with less than 10 inches of annual precipitation, there is little to no recharge of these aquifers.