Since 2009, TEAM has been serving as the objective, third-party monitor for the ongoing Hay Ranch Conditional Use Permit Hydrologic Monitoring and Mitigation Plan (HMMP), regulated by Inyo County Water Department in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Environmental Impact Report. A key part of this assignment has been monitoring a groundwater basin’s response to pumping at the property by the geothermal energy company, Coso Operating Company.
In order to increase the efficiency of the geothermal resource extraction, Coso engaged in the highly regulated activity of pumping water from one groundwater basin to another. To help Coso stay in compliance with the terms of the conditional use permit, TEAM hydrographers and environmental scientists helped establish the groundwater and surface water monitoring network and continue to provide ongoing monitoring and reporting for it. Establishment of the monitoring network included design and installation of surface water monitoring devices (flumes); monitoring well installation; equipping 24 monitoring points with dataloggers; and routine calibration and upkeep of monitoring equipment. Since requirements for water draw-down, pumping rates, and permitting conditions change over time, TEAM is responsible for modifying the monitoring plan as needed.
TEAM’s reputation for professionalism and objectivity has enabled the project stakeholders – both proponents and opponents – to accept the credibility of the hydrologic data collected for the Hay Ranch Project’s HMMP. This project has consistently been managed under budget and in compliance with all regulatory conditions.