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.
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.
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.
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 man-made 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
As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea
regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its
elevation of 237 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.
The Pacific Flyway is one of four
major North American migration routes for birds, especially
waterfowl, and extends from Alaska and Canada, through
California, to Mexico and South America. Each year, birds follow
ancestral patterns as they travel the flyway on their annual
north-south migration. Along the way, they need stopover sites
such as wetlands with suitable habitat and food supplies. In
California, 90 percent of historic wetlands have been lost.
Southern California’s Imperial Valley is home to California’s
drainage success story, one that converted a desert landscape
to an agricultural one, but at the same time created far reaching
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