Bruce Lytle, President of Lytle Water Solutions (LWS), has been qualified in Water Court and District Court proceedings in the areas of surface water hydrology, ground water hydrology, water quality and water rights. Mr. Lytle has been deposed and has testified in court numerous times.
Listed below are representative cases in which Mr. Lytle has been involved.
Surface Water Contamination from Point Sources
There was an effluent release from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) on a tributary of the Black River in North Carolina that was potentially causing surface water quality degradation in the receiving stream. A surface flow/quality model was used to assess potential water quality degradational effects; the results were summarized in an expert report and a deposition was used to defend the results. The case was settled based on the information provided in depositions.
Surface and Ground Water Contamination from Non-Point Sources
A case in the panhandle of Oklahoma involved the allegation of unregulated releases from a CAFO related to contaminants migrating through the unsaturated zone to the local ground water table and moving laterally so that contaminants daylighted to drainages and became a surface discharge. Extensive engineering and hydrogeologic investigations were completed to demonstrate no evidence of the allegations. Based on the results of the investigations, the case was settled prior to going to trial.
Surface Water Transport of Contaminants
An ephemeral stream crosses a large industrial site in central California where organic contaminants were found at the downstream end of the site, while the only source was on the upstream end of the site. Surface flow and transport mechanisms, incorporating degradational effects of the contaminant, were developed to demonstrate the ability of the contaminant to be transported. The results of the study were defended in a deposition. The case was settled based on the information provided in depositions.
Valuations of Water Rights
The value of water rights is often a subject in land condemnation cases and in cases of transfer of water rights ownership. Mr. Lytle has assisted several clients in assessing the value of surface water, ground water and water storage rights. Valuations have also included reservoir storage and water conveyance facilities, as well as ancillary value associated with the water rights being conveyed. Mr. Lytle has testified in District Court regarding the valuation of these rights.
Surface Water/Ground Water Flow Characterization
An underdrain system at a casino in Black Hawk, Colorado located adjacent to the perennial stream system of North Clear Creek that is subject to large seasonal snowpack runoff flows, was inundated, causing building damage and additional costs to be incurred related to water handling problems. It was alleged that upgradient development was the cause of the water handling problems; however, engineering analyses showed that hydrologic conditions were the cause of the problem. Based on the expert report prepared in this case, the case was settled prior to going to trial.
Expert deposition testimony was provided on a case involving objection to a claim for a right to surface water in the Platte River in Nebraska in amounts sufficient to sustain pumping of wells located adjacent to the river. Based in part on the results of numerical modeling and resulting testimony, the case was settled.
Water Court Cases
Engineering work for dozens of Water Court cases, as well as deposition and expert testimony, have been provided in Division 1, 2 and 3 in Colorado; such cases have dealt with Denver Basin water rights, tributary rights, change of use proceedings and augmentation plans. Similar engineering studies and cases have been completed without deposition and/or court testimony in Divisions 4, 5 and 6 in Colorado.
Regulatory Agency Hearings
Expert testimony has been provided in support of mined land permits. Lytle Water Solutions personnel have supported permit applications to regulatory agency hearings in Colorado and Alaska.