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Don’t Miss Opportunity to Examine Dire Salton Sea News Firsthand
Just a Few Seats Remain for our Lower Colorado River Tour Feb. 27-March 1

As a plan to ensure water for millions of people in the drought-gripped Colorado River Basin is held up by funding demands to restore the shrinking Salton Sea, ominous predictions about the desert lake’s ecological collapse are beginning to occur. Recent reports have found some birds that rely on this important stop on the Pacific Flyway are dying along its shores and some are not showing up at all.

In the meantime, a water utility that serves the Imperial Valley, where the Salton Sea is located in southeastern California, wants $200 million from the federal government for the lake’s restoration efforts before signing the Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River.

You can see this sea up close during our Lower Colorado River Tour, Feb. 27-March 1, when we will visit the fragile ecosystem and hear from several stakeholders working to address challenges facing the sea.

Announcement

Water Education Foundation Is Your Go-To Source For News And Information

Water Education Foundation is your go-to source for news and information about water in California and the West.

Each weekday, we compile Aquafornia, a roundup of major water news from around California, the Colorado River Basin and the western United States.

We produce our own journalism in Western Water, our flagship online publication offering in-depth examinations of critical water issues as well as shorter notebook articles on interesting water topics, spotlight stories offering a look at innovative projects and Q&A’s with newsmakers.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: Metropolitan Water District ready to support scaled-down tunnel plan

Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said … the agency intends to work constructively with the Newsom administration on developing a WaterFix project “that addresses the needs of cities, farms and the environment.” But Kightlinger expressed frustration that the project will be delayed even more.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news CNN

Atmospheric rivers are pulling California out of drought and piling on the snow

When 2019 started, California’s snowpack was at 67%. Now it’s at over 136% and rising. The atmospheric rivers that are dumping rain along coastal California are also dumping massive amounts of snow in the state’s Sierra Nevada.

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Rare L.A. mega-storm could overwhelm dam and flood dozens of cities, experts say

Although it might sound absurd to those who still recall five years of withering drought and mandatory water restrictions, researchers and engineers warn that California may be due for rain of biblical proportions — or what experts call an ARkStorm. … In heavily populated areas of the Los Angeles Basin, epic runoff from the San Gabriel Mountains could rapidly overwhelm a flood control dam on the San Gabriel river and unleash floodwaters from Pico Rivera to Long Beach, says a recent analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Fish in the fields

At the end of 2017, several local rice farmers teamed up with researchers for a pilot program known as “Fish in the Fields” through the Resource Renewal Institute, a nonprofit research and natural resource policy group, to see what would happen when fish were introduced to flooded rice fields. Now in its second year of experiments, researchers have concluded that it works, with methane – a climate-changing byproduct of rice agriculture much more detrimental than carbon dioxide – being reduced by about two-thirds, or 65 percent, in flooded fields that had fish in them.

Online Water Encyclopedia

Wetlands
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Wetlands

Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

Salton Sea
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Salton Sea

As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its elevation of 232 feet below sea level.

The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years, creating California’s largest inland body of water. The Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe

Drought
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Drought

Drought— an extended period of limited or no precipitation— is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom and-bust patterns.

No portion of the West has been immune to drought during the last century and drought occurs with much greater frequency in the West than in any other regions of the country.

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Important People in California Water History

Read about the history people who played a significant role in the water history of California.

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