Case StudiesDrought Management Group Facilitation
Drought Management Group Facilitation
Flowing through the piedmont regions of North and South Carolina, the Catawba River provides water to nearly 1.5 million residents. Between 2003 and 2006, Duke Energy, owner and operator of the 11-dam complex on the River, joined with region’s 16 largest water suppliers to craft the first-ever, coordinated basin wide drought plan as part its FERC relicensing of the dam complex. In spring 2007, barely six months after the drought plan was established, the basin turned dry and entered what would quickly become the region’s worst drought on record.
Because of our involvement with the initial agreements, Kearns & West was asked to facilitate the group that would implement the plan and manage the drought. The Drought Management Advisory Group (or DMAG) comprises water suppliers, industrial users, state and federal resource agencies and Duke Energy. Working with the DMAG and its technical consultants, Kearns & West lead the Group through numerous difficult and highly political decisions on water use restrictions to preserve water for the most essential uses. Kearns & West also supported DMAG’s media relations and developed and still maintains activities to measure the effectiveness of their actions. The drought plan and its coordinated implementation were credited with maintaining critical water supplies until the drought officially ended in June 2009.
Central Valley Flood Management Planning Program
California Department of Water Resources
California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) is developing the 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan—a sustainable, integrated flood management plan for areas protected by facilities of the State-Federal flood protection system in the Central Valley. The plan incorporates an unprecedented level of stakeholder input involving almost 200 flood professionals, landowners, builders, local government agencies, farmers, environmental interests, academic professionals, and other interests. Kearns & West is on the Communications and Engagement team guiding DWR outreach. Kearns & West has also facilitated regional workgroups in the Upper San Joaquin, Delta, and Lower Sacramento Regions.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (CMU), the Carolinas’ largest water utility, needs to greatly expand its wastewater treatment capabilities to keep pace with the region’s burgeoning population. CMU’s Sugar Creek treatment facility, originally sited before 1900 and today surrounded by residential communities and the area’s largest shopping mall, is to be more than doubled in size. In expanding this facility, CMU intends to incorporate sustainability concepts, expand the site’s educational opportunities and work with Mecklenburg County to add a key segment of its greenway. Kearns & West created and facilitated a stakeholder group of neighboring homeowner organizations, environmental and business groups, county park and recreation, storm water management agencies, a sustainability expert, as well as representatives from area educational institutions and both North Carolina and South Carolina water quality agencies. Through a series of meetings, CMU and its technical consultants gathered input on a number of design and layout alternatives, including the greenway routing. With this input, CMU established itself as the accessible and authoritative source for information about the site and its planned expansion. The group made numerous recommendations that will make the Sugar Creek facility an actively involved partner with neighboring Charlotte communities.
San Joaquin River Restoration Program
Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior
A settlement agreement resolving an 18-year legal dispute over the San Joaquin River Restoration was reached in September 2006 among a diverse group of settling parties, including federal and state agencies, environmental organizations, and local water contractors. Kearns & West assisted the Bureau of Reclamation in the implementation of the settlement through the San Joaquin River Restoration Program; supported the development of the program’s public involvement plan to guide strategic communications with the public, key stakeholders, third parties and interested parties; assisted in creating communications documents such as project brochures, newsletters, project presentation templates, fact sheets and comprehensive program schedules; and is currently coordinating and facilitating public workshops and stakeholder meetings. Kearns & West also planned logistics, facilitated and took notes for public scoping meetings in central California to present Program findings, solicit comments, and generate feedback.
WaterWater quality, supply, allocation, and resource management are perennial sources of conflict. Kearns & West’s collaborative solutions services support local, state and federal government agencies, utilities, developers, non-profit organizations and the general public in making tough water resource policy and management decisions.
Kearns & West specializes in:
- Climate Change Impacts
- Drought Planning and Management
- Flood Planning and Management
- Total Maximum Daily Loads
- Wastewater Treatment Facilities
- Water Rights
- Water Conservation
- Water Supply
- Watershed Management
- Water Storage and Conveyance Planning
- Water Quality Standards and Regulation