As a consultant to Inyo County, with funding provided by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Brown led the preparation and facilitation of a series of workshops and interviews as part of a deliberative stakeholder process that ran concurrently with the project’s technical analysis. LADWP had signed an agreement with the Great Basin Unified Pollution Control District to implement dust abatement measures on Owens Lake that required the use of large amounts of water. To meet part of that need, LADWP proposed utilizing groundwater from beneath the lake to supplement its other sources – a very controversial proposal from the viewpoint of the local communities and environmental interests. Working together with those stakeholders in a public process, Brown worked to develop a common understanding of the groundwater and ecology of the lake; designed a process to provide decision makers with the criteria and knowledge needed to assess the likely effects of using groundwater now and in the future; and was largely successful in achieving stakeholder agreement that all concerns had been documented, credibly researched, addressed, and communicated to decision makers. Ultimately, the plan to utilize groundwater was shelved.

  • Client: Inyo County
  • Location: California, USA
  • Project: Owens Lake Groundwater Availability Study
  • Role: Project Manager
  • Affiliation: CDM Smith
  • Photo: Owens Dry Lake