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dust control

Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program, Inyo County, California

dust control water policy Water Resources Restoration Ecology

Land IQ has served the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in multiple functions in the concept development, design, implementation, and operations of approximately 40 square miles of playa stabilization for dust control on the Owens Dry Lakebed. Land IQ staff were integral members of the engineering and science team for multiple design phases. Our team supported design of water delivery, irrigation, and subsurface drainage systems and grading and tillage plans, as well as developing soil preparation and planting specifications for dust control on the Owens Dry Lakebed. Systems included a novel fresh-saline water blending system, more than 50 miles of pipeline, and nearly 4 square miles of subsurface drip irrigation. Land IQ staff:

  • Developed design concepts and criteria for irrigation, surface and subsurface drainage and planting
  • Developed and managed 50 acres of saltgrass seed production farms to provide 29 million plants from local native seed from the lower Owens Valley for planting 2,200 acres of saltgrass;
  • Developed concepts for system refinements, habitat enhancement, and water conservation
  • Provide guidance on irrigation and chemigation protocols and water quality
  • Planned and conducted monitoring of plant health status for irrigation scheduling recommendations on a 2,200-acre managed vegetation dust control measure; monitoring included data collection and data analysis using ArcPad and ArcView GIS software to identify and delineate areas requiring special management.

Owens Lake Water Conservation

dust control water conservation Water Resources

For the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program, Land IQ has prepared large-scale water conservation strategies and plans, including developing and pilot testing water conserving dust control measures. Water consumption on Owens Lake is currently approximately 95,000 acre-feet/year.

Therefore, strategies for conserving water while implementing dust control measures are of great interest and are critical for the long term sustainability of the Program. Our concepts have the potential to conserve up to 50,000 acre feet per year, over half of current consumption. Land IQ continues to support LADWP operational staff in implementing these strategies and related regulatory negotiations:

  • Developing and demonstrating new dust control approaches that require little or no water
  • Managing site salinity to reclaim suitable areas and convert facilities to drought tolerant vegetative land stabilization, and to concentrate site salts in specific areas and manage their chemistry to form erosion resultant crusts with negligible evaporation
  • Developing Water management tools such as water demand prediction and scheduling programs, SCADA system support programs, and automated surface condition monitoring methods

Together, these strategies minimize consumptive water use, lower capital costs, reduce labor intensity, and reliably achieve compliance.

Owens Playa Surface Characterization

dust control native vegetation wetlands GIS soil classification salt crust Remote Sensing

Land IQ staff have been instrumental throughout the development of the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Program, which now consists of 43 square miles of dust control facilities (including shallow flooding, gravel, native vegetation and mitigated wetlands). These facilities are successfully controlling what was one of the largest sources of PM10 (windblown dust) in the world.

Land IQ’s remote sensing specialists have assisted the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in developing dust control and monitoring technologies, including innovative remote ground characterization and monitoring tools for the over 100 square mile project area.

Our advanced and customized remote sensing analyses assist operational personnel in facility management and optimization. These remote monitoring methods also serve as the basis for dust control compliance tracking and determinations. Satellite imagery, remote sensing and GIS techniques are used to map, analyze, and monitor the following characteristics on up to 100 square miles of playa surface:

  • Playa surface characteristics including salt crust and soil classification, moisture and relief
  • Surface wetness classes including standing water, saturated, and moist surfaces
  • Vegetative cover including specific vegetative conditions (plant community and phenological status)
  • Surface feature identification including traffic paths, stormflows, and sand and dune extents

Our remote sensing and science team has provided accurate and cost-effective monitoring data over a broad expanse that would otherwise be infeasible. Land IQ continues to develop new remote sensing methods to address evolving client and project needs.

Imperial Irrigation District Crop Mapping and Sea Floor Exposure Analysis

dust control air quality crop identification Remote Sensing Agriculture

Land IQ is working with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) on water operations and technologies for dust mitigation on expanding exposed Salton Sea floor. Land IQ conducted multiple remote sensing analyses to support IID's water delivery operations and Air Quality Mitigation Program. Our agricultural scientists and remote sensing specialists used advanced, object-based methods to identify crops and cropping patterns for over 20,000 acres of this diverse agricultural district. In addition, we have prepared an analysis of sea floor exposure rates and extent to support development of air quality monitoring networks, inform air quality monitoring data interpretation, and help in locating air quality pilot mitigation study areas.

Our specialized analysis and ground verification methods allow for greater detail and accuracy in crop identification/surface mapping than other traditional or remote methods and provide cost-effective solutions for assessment of large land areas.