A couple of comments:
A year or two ago I read an article Benett Kessler of the Sierra Wave in Bishop had written which outlined her reporting on the LADWP over the years. Those who've lived in the Eastern Sierra, like Bob West, might have a longtime perspective on how effective her reporting has been. In the relatively short time I've lived here (7 years) I've found her reporting objective and even-handed. Despite her efforts to call attention to the bad treatment of towns in the Eastern Sierra, it hasn't seemed to make the overlords more benevolent.
I also watched an interview David Freeman gave a couple of years ago to an LA station (an ABC affiliate IIRC) in which he said (and I'm paraphrasing a bit) - "We own the Owens Valley lock, stock and barrel", and a few moments later "We stole it, fair and square!". He had a big smile on his face when he made the second remark, so it took a bit of the sting out, but the message was clear. At that time he was being interviewed because DWP had made a public announcement of their plans to locate a large solar panel array on Owens Lake. I believe those plans have since been abandoned, but at the time I heard many comments from the locals that it was yet the latest attempt by the DWP to avoid ongoing compliance with PM-10 reductions.
If you want to read a David and Goliath story, check out the attempt the DWP made to raise the water rates substantially in one of the little towns (Big Pine, IIRC). Based upon the stories I read, it appears a rate increase was long overdue. However, rather than phase it in over time to make the system once again self-supporting, they chose to implement a large increase which would have created a financial hardship for many. What disgusted me was how DWP refused to cooperate with the citizens in exercising their rights in regards to a rate increase. Eventually the increase was repealed due to citizen efforts, but it was another example of how shabbily DWP handles its image in the Eastern Sierra.