Mono Lake Club

As a part of the Biological Field Station, the Mono Lake Club is dedicated to the principles of water conservation and ensuring that Mono Lake as well as other bodies of water are preserved for many generations through conservation and education.  In September 2012, the MLC took its inaugural trip to Mono Lake, CA to learn how manmade water diversions can pose a serious threat to the environmental stability of lakes, streams, waterfowl habitat, and riparian vegetation.  While you can learn more about the Mono Lake story by clicking here, these issues are occurring in other parts of the U.S. and the world, including right here in Nevada.


MLC members’ mission is to raise awareness and take action regarding ecological issues from a local to global scale. MLC equips individuals with the latest technology, resources, and knowledge that will provide educational and growth experiences. MLC encourages diversity by creating interests in different fields. This club integrates an ecological, political, research, and many other aspects. MLC’s guiding principles and mission promotes responsibility, dedication, and diversity within each individual. Members will emerge with the potential to learn, lead, and succeed.


West Career and Technical Academy is the host to their very own Mono Lake Club. Formally established 2012. MLC is comprised of a group of students, administrators, but is open to any individual with an interest. What began as a small seed of curiosity about Mono Lake, easily bloomed into a full-fledged operation.


The story of Mono Lake is sad, and one that should be learned from to prevent it from being repeated. In 1941 freshwater streams that fed into Mono Lake, were diverted 350 miles south to Los Angeles by the L.A. Department of Water and Power, in order to meet L.A.’s increasing water demands. Mono Lake lost much of its freshwater sources, decreasing the amount of water in the lake by 50% and doubling the salinity of the water. This hurt Mono Lake’s delicate ecosystem, which is one of the most productive in the world. The populations of algae and brine shrimp decreased significantly, causing the bird population to leave, as brine shrimp were it main food source.  While its fragile ecosystem was unraveling and its water level dropping, the air quality was also being affected. As the water went down, more of the lakebed was being exposed, which led to it becoming a source of air-borne particulate matter, which violated the Clean Air Act. Mono Lake was in serious trouble of becoming a toxic, lifeless, chemical depression. Thanks to David Gaines this troubling future could be prevented, he formed the Mono Lake Committee in 1978 to begin the restoration of Mono Lake. Since then Mono Lake’s water level and been slowly increasing in water level, it is currently at 6,382 feet.


Water conservation should be important to every inhabitant on Earth. Water is the source of life, 60% of the human body is water. Yet, many don’t realize the importance of water, and how we need to preserve it, as it is one of our most precious resources.  The same amount of water is available to our planet from the day of its creation until the present, and there will never be any more water available. Only 1% of the total water on the earth is fresh water that is readily available to meet our daily demands. Of our 1% of fresh water; 42% goes to agricultural use, 39% is used to produce electricity, 11% is used in public areas (homes, offices, and hotels), with the remaining 8% going towards manufacturing and mining. Even though we only have a fraction of a fraction of precious water available to us we continue to waste it, and suck dry lakes and streams that are vital to their individual ecosystems and the global environment, instead of conserving it and creating ways to use water more efficiently.

Easy Ways to Conserve Water

1.     Adjust your sprinklers so that only your yard is watered not the house or side walk.

2.     Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes, which can save up to 1000 gallons a month.

3.     Water your lawn in the early morning or evening before it gets to warm outside.

4.     Replace your showerhead with a more efficient model.

5.     Use refillable water bottles instead of plastic.

6.     Uses leftover water from water bottles to water your plants, so that no water is wasted.

7.     When cleaning out your fish tank, use the old water to water your plants.

8.     Replace you toilet with a low flow model.

9.     Don’t defrost food with running water; instead defrost it in the fridge.

10. Don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth.

11. Get your car washed at a commercial car wash that recycles the water.

12. Make sure your pools, fountains, ponds, and spas are equipped with recirculating pumps.

13. Wash your clothes in cold water; it helps save water and energy.

14.  Turn of the water when you wash your hair, this can save up to 150 gallons a month.

15. Turn off the water when you shave, and save up to 300 gallons a month.


First Trip  |   In Yosemite  |   Tufas in Mono Lake   |   Mono Lake against the Eastern Sierras   |   Our guide and Zen Master –  Santiago