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Post by crash »

This is right up ther with building a $400 MILLION new rail line THROUGH the San Diego mountains to get to the NEW airport for San Diego that would be located in the Imperial Valley. It just makes me laugh and wonder what these knuckleheads are smokin!?!

California's Salton Sea is shrinking but help may be on the way

By Christina Almeida

11:43 a.m. April 27, 2007

SALTON SEA – The Salton Sea is an incongruous sight: a huge body of water in the middle of a desert.
And with good reason. California's largest lake was created purely by accident in 1905 when floodwaters from the Colorado River burst past a series of dams and settled in a naturally salty depression more than 228 feet below sea level.

Ever since, the lake has been a Southern California oasis, rich in wildlife.

Its future, however, is in doubt. The 365-square-mile sea is shrinking and, with plans to divert more of the water that feeds it, could lose 60 percent of its volume in the next 20 years, killing the fish and devastating the 400 species of migrating birds that feed on them. And as the lake contracts, more land will be exposed to fierce desert winds that can whip sand and foul the air breathed by thousands of people.


California's largest lake was created in 1905.

Salton Sea facts
LOCATION: About 135 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 90 miles northeast of San Diego.

SIZE: California's largest lake, it's 35 miles long and up to 15 miles wide.

HISTORY: Formed in 1905 when a levee break along the Colorado River caused its flows to enter the Salton Sink, among the lowest points in America at more than 228 feet below sea level.

ECOSYSTEM: A critical stop along the Pacific Flyway for more than 100,000 migratory birds, including a number of threatened and endangered species such as the California brown pelican, Yuma clapper rail and Mountain plover.

FUTURE: During the next 20 years the amount of water flowing into the lake will drop by 40 percent. Without action, the sea will shrink by more than 60 percent, eventually exposing 134 square miles of dusty lakebed to desert winds and causing its already high salinity level to triple and kill all the fish.

PLAN FOR SURVIVAL: A draft proposal calls for spending $6.9 billion over 75 years. The state Water Resources Department will present a final version to the Legislature within the next two weeks.

Sources: California Department of Water Resources and The Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that has studied the lake.

That is the backdrop as the state Water Resources Department reworks a draft plan calling for spending $6.9 billion over 75 years to save the Salton Sea. A final version will be submitted to the Legislature within the next two weeks.

Though there is consensus something should be done, it is unclear whether lawmakers will go along with an expensive fix. In fact, the problem has loomed for years, and nearly two dozen proposals to help have gone nowhere.

“If we dawdle around and don't go after this hard, we'll end up with a dead sea before we can fix it,” warned Rick Daniels, executive director of the Salton Sea Authority, a coalition of local governments and agencies. “The fish will be dead and the birds will be gone.”

Ringed by the mountains, the Salton Sea sits in California's Imperial Valley, about 40 miles from the Mexican border. In the summer, it is one of the hottest spots in the U.S., with temperatures often soaring past 100 degrees. The water is 25 percent saltier than the Pacific Ocean.

The lake has a stark beauty. On a still day it glistens, reflecting the blue Southern California sky. However, some days it can emit a foul stench. Nutrients in agricultural runoff cause periodic algae blooms that suck oxygen from the water and kill hundreds of thousands of fish.

Stretching 35 miles long and up to 15 miles across, the lake is fed primarily by runoff from Colorado River irrigation canals. It has no outlet; a balance between evaporation and the water flowing in sustained it for decades.

But with more and more water being diverted from the Colorado River to satisfy the needs of the booming Southwest and cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, the balance will be broken.

“It's on the verge of collapse,” said Doug Barnum, a U.S. Geological Survey chief scientist at the Salton Sea.

The lake is a critical stop along the Pacific Flyway, a route for more than 100,000 migratory birds. Among the approximately 50 endangered and sensitive species are the California brown pelican, Yuma clapper rail and mountain plover.

Chris Schoneman, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service project leader at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, said people don't seem to realize the sea's significance.

“If a place like the San Francisco Bay area or the Great Salt Lake lost its wildlife? Man, it would be a huge natural disaster,” he said. “Here, there's less concern about the Salton Sea as a natural resource.”
It's not just wildlife that's threatened. An estimated 134 square miles of dusty lakebed – an area five times the size of Washington, D.C. – could be exposed to desert winds by 2036 if no action is taken. Imperial County already has the highest childhood asthma hospitalization rate in the state.

Hum, sounds like more sand for sand dunes. The problem with that would be????

The draft plan calls for a smaller but more manageable Salton Sea, with the amount of water available for use by humans and wildlife reduced by 60 percent to about 147 square miles. Forty miles of barriers – built most likely out of boulders, gravel and stone columns – would be erected along with earthen berms to corral the water.

The plan also envisions a complex system of drip-tubes that would irrigate plants and keep the dirt from blowing away.

Officials say a combination of state and federal funds, along with local taxes, will pay for the restoration. Annual costs will start at $52 million and eventually rise to $125 million.

As for whether the Legislature can find a way to fund it, Water Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman said: “It's going to be challenging at best.”

Woody Rogers, a 57-year-old construction worker, and his wife, Frankie, have owned a home along the Salton Sea for 12 years. Their lakefront property would become desertfront under the plan. That is OK with them, provided the sea is saved.

But Rogers is skeptical, fearing “it's going to be one of those cases where we got involved and screwed it up.”


Hey, does anybody remember that thing they're talking about when global warming will raise the sea level something like 11 feet?? Why don't we just dig a $3BILLION(!) trench from the salton sea to the gulf of baja thereby "killing two birds with one stone"? It will help lower the sea level AND keep the salton sea from drying up. Besides that, it would raise property values for those that would, once again, have lake front property, clean out the toxins that are currently sloshing around in there, AND COST HALF AS MUCH!!! I know, sounds pretty crazy, but look at what they're talking about.

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Post by proglamis »

Have had the same thought for years. It would flush like a toilet twice a day and solve the New River problem. Could bring cruise ships to North Shore.

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Post by MR. PETE »

Oh no! We've got to save another fragile habitat!

What a waste of time & tax money.

Another example of the liberal-philosophy at work.

Probably due to Global Warming too.

Some environmental group, perhaps disguised with a non-environmental name, will eventually come up with a computer generated model or three that will illustrate the great calamities that will befall mankind if this sea dries up.

You know, things like:
Dust storms of Biblical proportions covering LA and or San Diego - polluting our air, causing widespread lung ailments that will wipe out our healthcare system!

Dust storms wiping out the Imperial Valley farmland!

Perhaps a dramatic change in the weather patterns of the area!

Plagues of locusts!

Plagues of boils due to the toxic dust!


They actually think that this world will be so much worse when the 102 year old lake dries up? :cry: :cry: :cry:

If this is serious, it will not go away. Stay tuned...

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Post by old flatty »

they've spent more of our money studying the sea in the last 40 years than it would have cost to build a pipeline/ dig a canal
I think some fellas have made careers and retired studying the Salton Sea
real Jeeps have flatfenders

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Post by Sandcock »

sooo...... let me understand, the wet lake (was a dry lake created by nature or GLOBAL WARMING) was created by a break by a break in the MAN MADE LEVEE. Hum, I'm confused, I thought that the environmental wackos (EW) were into natural occurances, let nature take its course.

What kind of crap is the New Canel dumping into the Salton Sea? Blame the all the polution problems on the farmers. My understanding is that Mexico introduces sewage into the Canel. Maybe someone can clarify.

In Germany the EW wanted to kill the polar bear cub, because it would have been killed by the mother in a natural setting. The animal rights yahoos saved the cub.

Here in SO Cal a pocket mouse was found in San Clemente, or somewhere there abouts, taken to San Diego for rehab, and then taken to Camp Pendleton to be released. A ncie snack for a red tail hawk.

i'm confused :-s
scotty <><

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