Topic: Salton Sea

Overview

Salton Sea

Southern California’s Salton Sea—approximately 232 feet (70 m) below sea level— is one of the world’s largest inland seas. It has 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe.

The sea was created in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes, flooding a salty basin known as the Salton Sink in the Imperial Valley. The sea is an important stopping point for 1 million migratory waterfowl, and serves as critical habitat for birds moving south to Mexico and Central America. Overall, the Salton Sea harbors more than 270 species of birds including ducks, geese, cormorants and pelicans.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: $200 million for Salton Sea in California bond measure

Earlier this month, a proposed bond measure in the California Legislature had included $280 million to pay for building thousands of acres of ponds, wetlands and other dust-control projects around the Salton Sea. This week, after negotiations among lawmakers, the amount earmarked for the Salton Sea was slashed to $200 million.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California could mandate new Salton Sea geothermal plants at 11th hour

As state lawmakers debate far-reaching bills that could reshape the energy landscape in California and across the West, some groups are urging the Legislature to require new geothermal power plants at the Salton Sea before a key deadline Tuesday* night — but those groups can’t agree on what the geothermal mandate should look like.

Aquafornia news Western Water on Tap

New State Water Board Salton Sea Plan gets green light from main QSA parties

Architects of the largest agricultural-to-urban water transfer in the nation’s history Thursday gave their blessing to the State Water Resources Control Board’s latest plan to aid the beleaguered Salton Sea. “We think the draft stipulated order is a good faith effort by multiple agencies to thoughtfully balance competing considerations in determining how to best implement a successful Salton Sea restoration strategy,” said Maureen Stapleton, general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority during the State Water Board Salton Sea workshop in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Calls for money, action as California water board considers Salton Sea

With less than four months left until a critical deadline when the Salton Sea will begin to shrink rapidly, residents and activists are pressing for California officials to secure funding and act quickly to avert a costly disaster. Some people who live around the lake are driving to Sacramento for a Thursday meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board …

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Proposed Salton Sea deal would commit California to acting on pledges as lake shrinks

Five months ago, California outlined a $383 million plan to control dust and build thousands of acres of wetlands around the shrinking Salton Sea. But that plan left agencies in the Imperial Valley unsatisfied because only $80.5 million has been approved so far – and they questioned whether the state would follow through and live up to its commitments over the next 10 years.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway axes Salton Sea geothermal plant

It’s been 14 years since California officials first approved the Black Rock power plant, which would have tapped a powerful geothermal reservoir along the shore of the Salton Sea and generated enough climate-friendly electricity to power about 200,000 homes.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Negotiations toward a Salton Sea consensus are progressing, water agency says

The Imperial Irrigation District has been using its clout as the agency with the biggest water entitlement along the Colorado River to press for California officials to live up to their commitment that they will keep the Salton Sea from turning into an environmental disaster.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

That rotten egg smell is from a dying California lake

State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, says the state needs millions more to help protect the [Salton Sea's] sensitive ecosystem. A pair of measures advancing in the Legislature aim to speed up state restoration efforts, and ask voters next year to approve a $500 million general obligation bond to improve environmental and air quality conditions.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California far from solutions as Salton Sea crisis looms (Part 1)

The Salton Sea is a disaster in slow motion. For more than a century, California’s largest lake has been sustained by Colorado River water, which irrigates Imperial Valley farms and drains into the lake. But the Salton Sea will start shrinking rapidly at the end of this year, when increasing amounts of river water will be diverted from farms to cities.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Dusty air and the asthma crisis at the Salton Sea (Part 2)

A serious asthma crisis is afflicting communities around the Salton Sea. The southeastern corner of California has some of the worst air pollution in the country, where dirt from farmland and the open desert mixes with windblown clouds of toxic dust rising from the Salton Sea’s receding shores.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

As the Salton Sea deteriorates, bird populations are crashing (Part 3)

A decade ago, Guy McCaskie would stand on the shore of the Salton Sea and marvel at the vast masses of birds that congregated on the water and flew overhead. Nowadays he looks out over the lake and is saddened by how few birds he sees.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Salton Sea: Two paths for long-term fixes at California’s shrinking sea (Part 4)

As California officials struggle to decide on long-term fixes for the receding lake, there’s new momentum around an old idea: importing seawater from Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, and using the area’s plentiful geothermal power to desalinate that water. A subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which already operates 10 geothermal plants in the area, is developing a seawater desalination proposal and has pitched it to lawmakers in Sacramento.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: The Dying Salton Sea (4-part series with videos)

California’s largest lake is drying up. The Salton Sea has been shrinking for years, and fish and birds have been dying. The dry lakebed already spews toxic dust into the air, threatening a region with hundreds of thousands of people. And the crisis is about to get much worse.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Q&A: How the Colorado River’s future depends on the Salton Sea

California’s largest lake, the Salton Sea, is an accident. It was created in 1905 when a levee broke on an irrigation canal, flooding a giant desert playa. Today it has become a sticking point in negotiations between three states over the future of the Colorado River. … To help us understand all this, Water Deeply recently spoke with Michael Cohen, a senior research associate at the Pacific Institute, a water policy think-tank based in Oakland.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State unveils a 10-year plan to restore habitat and control toxic dust storms along the Salton Sea’s receding shoreline

Salton Sea advocates on Thursday cautiously celebrated the announcement of a 10-year state plan to complete projects designed to restore areas where migrating birds once proliferated and control toxic dust storms rising off expanses of smelly playa surrounding the shrinking salty lake.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California has a new $383 million plan for the shrinking Salton Sea

After years of delays, California’s plans for the shrinking Salton Sea are finally starting to take shape. A $383 million plan released by the state’s Natural Resources Agency on Thursday lays out a schedule for building thousands of acres of ponds and wetlands that will cover up stretches of dusty lakebed and create habitat for birds as the lake recedes.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California: $400 million plan to slow largest lake shrinkage

California Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration on Thursday proposed spending nearly $400 million over 10 years to slow the shrinking of the state’s largest lake just as it is expected to evaporate an accelerated pace. 

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Big unfinished business for Trump — Colorado River deals, the shrinking Salton Sea

Two days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, outgoing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell laid out a game plan for averting serious water shortages along the Colorado River. … Her announcement accompanied a separate accord in which the Interior Department pledged to coordinate with California officials to manage the shrinking Salton Sea …

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Delayed Colorado River deal will likely fall to Trump administration to finish

Several months ago, managers of water agencies in California, Arizona and Nevada were expressing optimism they could finalize a deal to use less water from the dwindling Colorado River before the end of the Obama administration.

Aquafornia news The Riverside Press-Enterprise

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Salton Sea wins $14 million grant to aid migratory birds

The California Wildlife Conservation Board has awarded $14 million for Salton Sea wetland habitat restoration to sustain migrating birds and the fish they eat there, state officials announced Thursday, Nov. 17.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Salton Sea ultimatum: California water district demands state plan by Dec. 31

The Imperial Irrigation District has given California officials an ultimatum on the Salton Sea, demanding the state finalize a 10-year “roadmap” for the shrinking lake by the end of this year. The Imperial Valley water district made the appeal this week, urging state officials to uphold their responsibility to control dust and protect public health as the lake recedes.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: As the Salton Sea’s decline looms, a rush to cover up dry lakebed

The project, which involves the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Imperial Irrigation District, is one of several initial efforts underway to restore habitat and reduce windblown dust as the Salton Sea shrinks. The lake is about to begin receding rapidly.

Aquafornia news KPBS

2 earthquakes reported in Salton Sea region

The U.S. Geological Survey reported two earthquakes, magnitudes 3.4 and 3.0, in the Salton Sea region Wednesday morning.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

A new fault line was discovered along the Salton Sea

Scientists say they’ve discovered a new fault line running along the eastern edge of the Salton Sea parallel to the San Andreas Fault. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Is a big quake looming for Southern California?

Southern California residents should remain on heightened alert until Tuesday for the increased possibility of a major earthquake, officials said.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Risk of big earthquake on San Andreas fault rises after quake swarm at Salton Sea

The rumbling started Monday morning deep under the Salton Sea. … The temblors were not felt over a very large area, but they have garnered intense interest — and concern — among seismologists.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press Enterprise

Nearly 200 earthquakes rock Salton Sea in 2 days

As dusk neared, still another noticeable earthquake rocked the Salton Sea where nearly 200 quakes have been recorded during the past two days.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Earthquake expert Lucy Jones: Salton Sea swarms occur

It’s been about eight years since the Salton Sea was the epicenter of a swarm of earthquakes, but the abundance of temblors doesn’t necessarily indicate a larger one to come, a renowned seismologist says.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

More than 100 earthquakes hit Salton Sea amid quake swarm

More than 100 small earthquakes — including three of a magnitude greater than 4 — struck the Salton Sea area Monday.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Lake Tahoe protection and Sacramento flood control in Senate bill

California’s Salton Sea and state-straddling Lake Tahoe would receive funding for environmental restoration under a bill set for Senate approval Thursday. More controversial water-related efforts remain stuck in Capitol Hill limbo, however.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Riverside County has a new plan to fund Salton Sea restoration, and it involves tax revenue

When the Obama administration announced $30 million for Salton Sea restoration last month, local officials praised the federal government for finally starting to address the deterioration of California’s largest lake. 

Aquapedia background

Lakes

Definition

A lake is an inland standing body of water.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Obama announces Salton Sea initiatives at Tahoe summit

The Obama administration unveiled initiatives to help restore the Salton Sea and improve the region’s climate resilience, economy and public health as part of President Barack Obama’s visit to Lake Tahoe Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

White House pledges support for Salton Sea, geothermal energy

The federal government is stepping up its commitment to the Salton Sea and exploring the possibility of buying geothermal energy from the Imperial Valley, in a series of moves that could help fund restoration projects at California’s largest lake and maybe pave the way for a multi-state agreement to use less Colorado River water.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California is running out of time to save Salton Sea

An agreement by California to draw less water from the Colorado River to help boost water levels at Lake Mead could accelerate the shrinkage of the already precarious Salton Sea, endangering air quality and wildlife habitat.

Aquafornia news Western Water on Tap

Salton Sea advocate calls for regulating rate of water transfer to avert public health crisis

Fearing an imminent public health threat, the director of the University of California, Irvine’s Salton Sea Initiative said the State Water Resources Control Board should step in and regulate the rate of water transferred from the Imperial Valley to coastal California as part of the Quantification Settlement Agreement. Tim Bradley, speaking recently before the State Water Board, said while there is “no question” about the right of the water transfer, “the question is does the withdrawal of water seriously affect the health of California?”

Blog post Gary Pitzer Gary Pitzer

Salton Sea Advocate Calls For Regulating Rate of Water Transfer to Avert Public Health Crisis

Fearing an imminent public health threat, the director of the University of California, Irvine’s Salton Sea Initiative said the State Water Resources Control Board should step in and regulate the rate of water transferred from the Imperial Valley to coastal California as part of the Quantification Settlement Agreement.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Sen. Boxer calls for quicker action on the Salton Sea

Sen. Barbara Boxer called for urgent steps to fix the problems of the deteriorating Salton Sea, saying state and federal agencies need to speed up efforts to control dust and protect habitat as California’s largest lake declines.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Sen. Barbara Boxer on Salton Sea restoration: ‘Act faster’

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., called Thursday for local, state and federal agencies to hurry up and restore the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake. … Boxer made her comments after a briefing from local, state and federal officials about efforts to curb environmental damage from the steadily shrinking sea. The briefing was closed to the press.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Is the Salton Sea stinking more? The data say yes

If you’ve noticed the Salton Sea seems to be stinking a bit more often lately, you’re right. … The Salton Sea has also been gradually declining, and some scientists expect the odors to become more frequent in the coming years as the lake’s level continues to drop.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

State is years behind on projects to protect wildlife at Salton Sea, officials and activists say

The Salton Sea is in big trouble and plodding state officials are to blame, local authorities and environmentalists say. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Sudden declines of birds, fish could signal ‘tipping point’ at Salton Sea

The lack of small fish and the sudden declines of some bird species at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge could be signs that the lake’s overburdened ecosystem is starting to unravel and deteriorate. … The lake is also showing other symptoms of decay.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Voters this fall could send millions for Salton Sea rehab

Assembly member Eduardo Garcia’s $3.1 billion bond proposal includes $25 million for air quality mitigation and the creation of wildlife habitat at the Salton Sea. The California Natural Resources Agency, thanks to a previous bill carried by Garcia, includes a list of shovel-ready projects on the lakebed. 

Aquafornia news KPBS

Salton Sea restoration gets $80.5 million in state budget

The state budget Gov. Jerry Brown signed this week includes $80.5 million for restoration of the Salton Sea — more than California has ever allocated for the state’s largest and most troubled lake.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Commentary: ‘Accidental’ Salton Sea has a purpose worth saving

Observers often wax apocalyptic when talking about the Salton Sea, and part of that narrative is the inevitable reminder that this blight isn’t natural, that the sea only exists because the Colorado River breached a man-made canal in 1905. But to millions of birds, the Salton Sea’s creation was a godsend.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Salton Sea a concern for Imperial Irrigation District in Colorado River talks

Because the Imperial Irrigation District holds the single largest entitlement to water from the [Colorado] river, its participation would be vital in any agreement for California to share in water cutbacks to avert a looming shortage in Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir. But major hurdles remain for the district to support a potential deal, and the reasons begin with the shrinking Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

At Salton Sea, dreaming big on geothermal

On a windy Friday morning last month, three men stood on Red Hill by the southern shore of the Salton Sea, admiring the geothermal power plants belching steam in the distance.

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Federal water bill would boost Salton Sea projects

A major water resources bill introduced Tuesday in the Senate would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to partner with local governments and other agencies – not just California officials – on projects to address the problems of the shrinking Salton Sea. 

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

On Earth Day, take a moment to consider these 10 local environmental issues

Earth Day, celebrated today across the globe, reminds us of the fragile state of our planet. From land contaminated with toxic chemicals to bad air spewed into the atmosphere, the most of us have been affected by pollution in some way. To bring all of this closer to home, we’re listing the 10 most critical environmental problems in Southern California.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Slow progress on Salton Sea projects as time runs low

Earlier this month, Bruce Wilcox — Gov. Jerry Brown’s Salton Sea czar — submitted a report to the state Legislature outlining progress on restoration projects. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Boating again at Salton Sea: Ramp aims to spur activity

For the first time in years the Salton Sea Recreation Area has a public boat launch. The public-private partnership that built the launch hope it brings more fishing, water skiing and recreational boating to California’s largest lake, which has been sinking and which scientists say is need of environmental rescue.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

How water from Mexico can save the Salton Sea (with video)

Last Sunday, a U.S. businessman teamed up with an environmental activist to organize an expedition from the Salton Sea to the Laguna Salada. Their goal was to drum up support for a plan to import water from Mexico to the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Big projects floated to save Salton Sea

Although there are some short- and medium-term fixes already in the works, the job of saving the Salton Sea is a long-term proposition – one that requires planning well into the next decades. A group of local leaders – known as the Long Range Plan Committee – has been assembled under the auspices of the California Natural Resources Agency to convene a series of meetings to listen to presentations that address long-term solutions for the sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Federal government ups Salton Sea spending

The federal government plans to spend $3 million this year constructing a new wetland along the Alamo River in order to rehabilitate habitats and help clean up some of the polluted water flowing into the Salton Sea. 

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

State has ‘big awakening’ on Salton Sea concerns

Planners working on the preservation of the Salton Sea envision a smaller version surviving indefinitely, with some of the costs for its maintenance recovered by economic development which may include geothermal, the harvest of algae, or something else, officials said during a conference at the UC Riverside. 

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Salton Sea: Is Inland lake on road to revival?

More progress has been made toward restoring the Salton Sea in the past year than in the entire decade before. 

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Governor Brown’s state budget includes Salton Sea funding

Gov. Jerry Brown’s $122.6 billion budget plan out Thursday contained $80.5 million for the restoration of habitat at the shrinking Salton Sea, the creation of a longterm plan for the lake’s management, and is raising hopes for its restoration, officials said. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Imperial Irrigation District presses California to pay for Salton Sea fixes

In what’s becoming a regular ritual, representatives from the Imperial Irrigation District and other groups trekked to Sacramento on Tuesday to make the case for action on the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Earthquake hits near Salton Sea

A 3.4-magnitude earthquake shook the area near the Salton Sea Thursday afternoon.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

On Salton Sea and energy, it’s Imperial Irrigation District versus the world

At least at the Salton Sea, the district’s [Imperial Irrigation District] hardball tactics seem to be working: There’s been more political progress this year than ever before. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked for a plan of action, and several long-stalled pilot projects are finally getting underway.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Salton Sea — Are changes ahead for troubled shorelines?

The first significant restoration project has begun at the Salton Sea, where declining water levels have triggered widespread odors, unhealthful blowing dust and shrinking habitat for birds.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Restoration work begins on part of Salton Sea

Officials last week took a step — albeit a modest one — toward restoring the beleaguered Salton Sea and possibly avoiding a predicted environmental and health catastrophe.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

At Salton Sea’s Red Hill Bay, shovels are in the ground

The Salton Sea is just a few years away from becoming a massive public health and environmental disaster. But if that bleak future doesn’t come to pass, the Coachella and Imperial valleys might look back at Nov. 5, 2015, as the day the tide started to turn.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Salton Sea survival boosted

The California Natural Resources Agency will move forward with the projects in the coming months and work with Colorado River officials to accelerate planning, permitting and construction, the governor’s office said. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown orders study aiming to restore parts of shrinking Salton Sea

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to require the Salton Sea Authority, working with the Natural Resources Agency, to study projects to restore parts of the rapidly shrinking Salton Sea, a huge and troubled body of water considered a health menace.

Aquafornia news The Arizona Republic

Once a fishing paradise, Salton Sea withers in California drought

Long gone are the luxury boats that drew stars inland from Hollywood to this accidental sea that first filled with Colorado River water after a massive 1905 canal breach. … The Southwest’s worsening water shortage will make saving the Salton Sea difficult, because any fix requires water from an over-stressed Colorado River.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Salton Sea faces catastrophic future, toxic dust storms, officials say

Community activists, politicians and water officials from the Imperial and Coachella valleys went to the state water board in Sacramento six months ago with a plea: Avoid a “looming catastrophe” at the Salton Sea. … Two weeks ago, two top officials from the Imperial Valley returned to the water board to complain that virtually nothing has been done.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Little Hoover Commission has surprising new idea to fix Salton Sea

To save the Salton Sea, the Imperial Irrigation District might want to let it dry up faster. That’s one of the recommendations from California’s Little Hoover Commission, an independent agency that investigates state government operations and makes recommendations to the state Legislature.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Watchdog panel calls for immediate action to avoid ‘disaster’ at Salton Sea

The state government should move immediately to prevent an economic and environmental disaster caused by the decline of the Salton Sea, a state watchdog group said Thursday.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Salton Sea stench sets new record

Residents in the Coachella Valley are used to the seasonal rotten-egg stench from the Salton Sea, but not for nine days in a row. … In 2017, water to the sea will decrease greatly when an agreement to transfer water from farms to San Diego kicks into high gear.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Salton Sea remedy document draft is released

Call it a first step. … The Imperial Irrigation District has released a 260-page document that provides short, medium and long-term plans to avert a health crises and spur the development of up to 1,700 megawatts of new geothermal energy at the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial County want $3 billion for Salton Sea

The $3.15 billion would fund shovel-ready pilot projects and new geothermal energy development around the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake. The money would come from several sources, including fees from companies that emit planet-warming greenhouse gases and the $7.5 billion water bond that voters approved in November.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Inland Empire irrigation district sues state grid operator

The Imperial Irrigation District has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the manager of most of the state’s electricity grid, alleging that it is using its monopoly power to limit options for the district, which is a major player in the effort to mitigate the shrinking Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Rancho Cucamonga man completes 116-mile trek around Salton Sea

It was sheer jubilation as a muddy and sweaty Randy Brown crossed the finish line of his Salton Sea Walk on Sunday in front of the North Shore Beach and Yacht Club Community Center.

Western Water Excerpt

Countdown at the Salton Sea
May/June 2015

The clock is ticking for the Salton Sea.

The shallow, briny inland lake at the southeastern edge of California is slowly evaporating and becoming more saline – threatening the habitat for fish and birds and worsening air quality as dust from the dry lakebed is whipped by the constant winds.

(Read this excerpt from the May/June 2015 issue along with the editor’s note. Click here to subscribe to Western Water and get full access.)

Introduction

The clock is ticking for the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Randy Brown begins 116-mile walk around Salton Sea

Randy Brown set out on a 116-mile trek around the Salton Sea early Tuesday — an effort he hopes will generate more awareness about the plight of the shrinking lake.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Salton Sea: Activist taking a long, hot walk to support recovery

Six days, 116 miles: That is Randy Brown’s goal, starting Tuesday, June 9. From June 9 to 14, the Rancho Cucamonga website developer plans a grueling trek around the Salton Sea, on the edge of the desert between Riverside and Imperial counties.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

History of the Salton Sea

For centuries, the Colorado River periodically emptied into a body of water known as Lake Cahuilla on the northern reaches of the Gulf of California.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California’s largest lake threatened by urban water transfer

An air of decline and strange beauty permeates the Salton Sea: The lake is shrinking – and on the verge of getting much smaller as more water goes to coastal cities.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

California’s largest lake is slipping away amid an epic drought

The Salton Sea needs more water — but so does just about every other place in California. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

History of Salton Sea solutions tends to repeat itself

Concern about the consequences of a shrinking Salton Sea began almost as soon as the floodwaters of the mighty Colorado River stopped pouring into the Salton Sink in 1907 — 16 months after a breach in a canal inundated entire communities in the Coachella and Imperial valleys and created an accidental lake the size of Delaware.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Salton Sea problems could cut into region’s tourism wave

A diminishing Salton Sea is on course to put a drag on the Coachella Valley’s tourism economy, a recent study advises.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Salton Sea on backburner as California deals with drought

As the historic drought drags on and Californians turn their attention to using less water, the Salton Sea continues to shrink — as do the chances of finding near-term solutions for revitalizing the ailing lake.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Documentaries focus on Salton Sea, California drought

Two new documentaries about California’s struggles with dwindling water supplies will be shown back-to-back at the American Documentary Film Festival this weekend, one focusing on the state’s epic drought and the other examining the looming environmental problems of the shrinking Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Once again, officials urge action on Salton Sea

Representatives from Riverside and Imperial counties met in Sacramento Wednesday to urge state water officials to create — and finally fund — a Salton Sea restoration plan before it is too late.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California officials set modest plans for vanishing lake

California officials said Wednesday that the drought-stricken state set an unachievable bar to save the Salton Sea and outlined small projects aimed at staving off the demise of the state’s largest lake, disappointing farmers, environmentalists and others.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Water officials hear predictions of looming crisis at Salton Sea

After listening to seven hours of doomsday predictions, state water officials agreed Wednesday to look at one of California’s largest but often ignored environmental problems: the deterioration of the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Commentary: Tell officials we’re worth solution for water, Salton Sea

What one thing do all our local, state and federal elected officials have in common? All of them, both Republicans and Democrats seem to have given up on the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Saving the Salton Sea is smart environmental policy

They don’t like to hear this kind of talk in the rich agricultural lands of the Imperial Valley, but the Salton Sea was a big mistake.

Aquafornia news Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Los Angeles filmmaker documents Rancho Cucamonga man’s Salton Sea walk

On a whim, Blake Alexander traveled from his Los Angeles apartment to the Salton Sea last May. It was the first time after a four-year absence of visiting when he discovered what had happened to one of the world’s largest lakes. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Editorial: Garcia bill a boost to New River, Salton Sea

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia is pressing the fight to clean up the New River. … The push to clean up the New River should also be seen as a boost to efforts to restore the Salton Sea. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

At Salton Sea, dredging makes way for large boats

Doug Veirs remembers boating on the Salton Sea more than 30 years ago, fishing for corvina and enjoying the calm waters. 

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Assemblyman pushes New River cleanup legislation

A new bill from Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia would hasten efforts to clean up the New River, which flows from Mexico into the Salton Sea and has long been known as one of America’s most polluted waterways.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

After 12 years, legal dispute over water transfer ends

Imperial County and the Imperial Irrigation District announced a settlement in a long-running legal battle Tuesday, ending 12 years of litigation over a water transfer deal and its effects on the shrinking Salton Sea. The case stems from the 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement, or QSA, the largest agricultural-to-urban water transfer in U.S. history.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Debate over Salton Sea strategy intensifies

The water districts of the Coachella Valley and the Imperial Valley are sharply at odds over an attempt to press the state to come up with a plan for the deteriorating Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Editorial: Salton Sea neighbors should back restoration

The Imperial Irrigation District is calling on all stakeholders in the 2003 water transfer deal to come together to finally find a solution to the piece of that puzzle that has remained elusive ever since: the promised restoration of the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: IID presses state to live up to Salton Sea commitment

The Imperial Irrigation District is pressing for the state to take the lead in settling on a plan for the Salton Sea and paying for it as a deadline nears in less than three years for the lake’s decline to accelerate.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Salton Sea struggles to survive

It’s hard to imagine that this quiet place once drew more visitors than Yosemite National Park. Back then, the Salton Sea was a boom town, rising out of the desert like a Las Vegas or a Palm Springs. The American Riviera, as it was known, was full of glamour and promise.

Aquafornia news UT San Diego

State urged to avert ‘crisis’ at Salton Sea

Imperial Valley water officials on Tuesday urged the state to help “avert an emerging environmental and public health crisis at the Salton Sea,” or otherwise consider restricting a massive water transfer deal that benefits San Diego.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Brian Nestande says Salton Sea will remain a focus

As he prepares to leave public office, Assemblyman Brian Nestande said he’ll continue to work with other local leaders on a plan to help the shrinking Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Jerry Brown pushes water bond, makes no promises about Salton Sea

Backed by politicians from both parties, California Gov. Jerry Brown brought his whirlwind campaign to San Diego on Wednesday to urge passage of Proposition 1, the $7.5-billion water bond.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought, drawdowns and death of the Salton Sea

The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake at 370 square miles, once supported resorts that drew celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Promotion begins for Salton Sea license plate

A new campaign is underway to promote the new Salton Sea license plate, with the goal of registering at least 7,500 pre-sales by the end of next year. … Assemblyman Brian Nestande, a Palm Desert Republican, sponsored the legislation to create the plate. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in September.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Nestande proposes sales tax hike for Salton Sea

State Assemblyman Brian Nestande on Monday said he is launching a proposal for a quarter-cent sales tax increase in the Coachella Valley to help pay for a restoration project at the Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Receding Salton Sea could make room for geothermal

The shrinking of the Salton Sea might pose a serious public health hazard, but it could also boost renewable energy development in the region, officials said Thursday at the Southern California Energy Summit.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Energy summit focuses on Salton Sea’s looming problems

Michael Cohen has studied the problems of the shrinking Salton Sea for years, and he says one of the biggest challenges is that it’s hard for many people to envision the serious and costly environmental disaster that could be unleashed by the lake’s decline.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Some tout ideas of canals, pipelines to the Salton Sea

During a long congressional career from 1963 to 1999, the late Congressman George E. Brown, Jr., called for solutions to the Salton Sea’s growing problems and once raised the idea of building a canal to connect the salty lake to the Sea of Cortez.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Salton Sea gains notice in new environmental plan

The restoration of the Salton Sea received a boost with the 8,000-page Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan released Tuesday by the federal Department of Interior. … In an interview, [U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell] said that the real fix for the Salton Sea involves water.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Officials planning wetlands projects at Salton Sea

State and federal officials said Tuesday they are moving ahead with plans to build wetlands along portions of the dry shorelines of the Salton Sea, aiming to preserve habitat for fish and birds while also controlling dust.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Salton Sea: Fish and Wildlife Service approves restoration plan

Federal officials have approved plans for the restoration of the Salton Sea wetlands over the next 15 years.

Publication Sue McClurg

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - Paperback

The story of water is the story of California. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Publication Sue McClurg

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - hardbound

The story of California is the story of water. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River
Updated 2013

The Colorado River provides water to more than 35 million people and 4 million acres of farmland in a region encompassing some 246,000 square miles in the southwestern United States. The 32-page Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of significant Colorado River events.

Maps & Posters

California Water Map
Updated December 2016

A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect gift for the water wonk in your life.

Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and manmade reservoirs and aqueducts - including federally, state and locally funded projects - the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.

Salton Sea
Aquapedia background

Salton Sea

Southern California’s Salton Sea—approximately 232 feet (70 m) below sea level—is the by-product of a man-made accident.

In 1905, the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes, flooding a  basin known as the Salton Sink in the Imperial Valley and forming the Salton Sea in what had been an ancient lake bed occasionally fed by the river.

Aquapedia background

Imperial Valley

Southern California’s Imperial Valley is home to California’s earliest agricultural drainage success story, one that converted a desert landscape to an agricultural one, but at the same time created far reaching consequences.

Western Water Excerpt Sue McClurg Sue McClurgRita Schmidt SudmanGary Pitzer

The California Plan and the Salton Sea
Nov/Dec 2001

Water from the Colorado River transformed the sagebrush and desert sands of the Imperial, Coachella and Palo Verde valleys into lush, green agricultural fields. The growing season is year-round, the water plentiful and the local economies are based almost entirely on farming. As the waters of the Colorado River allowed the deserts to bloom, they allowed southern California cities like Los Angeles and San Diego to boom. Suburbs, jobs and people followed, and the population within the six counties served by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) grew from 2.8 million in 1930 to more than 17 million today.

Commands