Owens Lake is the largest source of airborne particulate-matter pollution in the U.S. Through an innovative approach to dust suppression at Owens Lake, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power can allocate additional water resources to the Los Angeles Aqueduct and boost urban water supply reliability.
The Owens Lake Master Project involves redesigning the existing dust control infrastructure to use less water while maintaining air quality and migratory bird habitat. The project balances the use of water resources to the benefit of public health, habitat, and water supply.
As an observer to the planning and visioning process since 2013, ESA is providing support to LADWP to ensure project implementation achieves compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), while providing technical input on habitat suitability, groundwater management, and cultural resource protection.
LADWP initiated a stakeholder-driven process to define an integrated land use, resource management, and public use vision. Key stakeholders have included Owens Valley’s Native American Tribes, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Lands Commission, Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, County of Inyo, Audubon Society, and California Native Plant Society.
ESA managed the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) public scoping process and publication of the Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Master Project. We are preparing the Draft EIR, which is expected to be released for public review in 2020.
An interview with Marguerite Patil, Contra Costa Water District and Jim Watson, Sites Project Authority on Increasing California Water Storage Capacity.