Owens Lake is situated on the outskirts of Death Valley. Although classed as a dry lake it has always contained water up until a few years ago. As the lake water diminished dust from the lake caused the highest level of dust pollution in the U.S. carried by strong winds. This became such a problem that in 2013 engineering work began on the lake in an attempt to control the dust problem.
Owens Lake1. October 2014. Marcus Doyle
Owens Lake 2. October 2014. Marcus Doyle
Owens Lake 3. October 2014. Marcus Doyle
Owens Lake 4. October 2014. Marcus Doyle
Salt Grass is currently being planted across the whole of the lake bed in a project that will take two years to complete. The grass is irrigated with fresh water and cattle has been introduced to keep the grass at a manageable level (large machinery would sink into the ground).
Although the Salt Grass is said to control the dust problem, excess water usage is now in full swing to feed cattle and grass within an area of very limited water supply.
Owens Lake 5. October 2014. Marcus Doyle
Lone Pine, located in the Owens Valley at the tip of Owens Lake, has been effected greatly by California's drought and has one of the strictest drought contingency plans in the State. This said, it is also home to the Crystal Geyser water bottling factory located just outside the town in Olancha. Crystal Geyser promotes its bottled water as “the only major U.S. spring water bottled exclusively at the source” and has has plans for expansion.