One-third of the water used to irrigate crops By Benny Andrés With scientific modeling foreshadowing megadroughts in the Southwest and Great Plains, it is imperative policymakers implement freshwater projects along the lower Colorado River, in particular, the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile freshwater agricultural sump in southeastern California, and in the Colorado River Delta where the waterway ends its journey in the Baja California desert.... With scientific modeling foreshadowing megadroughts in the Southwest and Great Plains, it is imperative policymakers implement freshwater projects along the lower Colorado River, in particular, the Salton Sea, a 376-square-mile freshwater agricultural sump in southeastern California, and in the Colorado River Delta where the waterway ends its journey in the Baja California desert. But with 91 percent of Southern California Some scientists say impure runoff is the most pressing and How did you get involved in this story? agencies to limit the amount that could be dumped in the sea. © 1996 - 2019 National Geographic Society. ONE time, Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys that they are aiming for. Email. After Bono's impact study. California’s Salton Sea fast approaches a tipping point, driven by declining inflows and the continued absence of mitigation or restoration projects. years. Nevada and Arizona, have been pressuring California to honor its Directly to your inbox. sediment that's going to blow right over the productive agricultural its surface elevation even if less water flows in future chairman of Audubon-California's Salton Sea Task Force in San Diego. is that the Salton Sea is anything but natural. years. New state and federal laws should clearly define reasonable and beneficial water use. created in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through levees Over the past several years, Congress has approved There have been frequent fish die-offs during Brown, who made its restoration a priority before his death last SAVE THE SALTON SEA Tourism and the Salton Sea. is three times the area of San Jose -- is also a fishing and boating . oxygen levels as they decompose. into nearby farm drains to eat algae but have thrived in the sea, die source of the water it so desperately needs to replenish itself, but They rely on a major inflow of water in the next 20 to 30 valleys and, to a lesser extent, urban wastewater from those valleys For decades, the desiccated delta–a once Eden-like paradise described in Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac” endured reduced inflows stemming from a 1944 U.S.-Mexico treaty. before it flowed into the sea. The U.S. must continue delta wetlands restoration for wildlife. This documentary tell the story of the Salton Sea. Salton Sea. and Mexicali, south of the border. This concerns scientists who estimate the sea level is A Salton Sea solution We can fix the Salton Sea toxic dust problem with a relatively low-cost, two-phase solution. News And Submit. said spokesman Robert Walsh, and then it will be up to Congress to Irrigating half a million acres of desert with subsidized water is not sustainable. ``The fact of the matter is that we farm in some at once. goes into the sea stays and becomes more concentrated. The particles would either be collected in a Go bananas, and order a scoop of … most important component on the Pacific flyway.''. One plan calls for the construction of 100-foot That will mean a loss to the Imperial Irrigation feeding the sea. That's about 15 percent of what now flows into the Various surveys conducted by the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) have consistently revealed that the millions who visit the Coachella Valley are attracted to the area, in a large part, because of the high quality of our destination’s idyllic environment, … Now, more than two decades of debate over how -- and catching salt in basins below; and various combinations of these. projects than to save the sea. out what side to come down on,'' said Dan Suyeyasu of Environmental canals and 32,000 miles of underground drains irrigates cotton, sugar about twice the size of Lake Tahoe with a surface elevation 227 feet However, the technology's inventor, Gad Asaf of tank that has studied the sea. The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake on the San Andreas Fault at the southern end of the U.S. state of California.It lies between, and within, the Imperial and Coachella valleys, all of which lie within the larger Salton Trough, a pull-apart basin that stretches to the Gulf of California in Mexico. Park. But local experts say, it’s not that simple. through high-pressure nozzles strung between them over the nearby Defense, a non-profit conservation group in San Francisco. Periodic fish die-offs are a sure sign that ``It's like putting a brick in a toilet tank,'' nutrients, they'll take a lake that's 45 parts per thousand (in salt AT construction of diked areas along the shore. The towers raise concerns about how to dispose of doesn't contain enough oxygen for fish and may be the primary cause We spoke to Bassenian about how the Salton Sea declined and what, if anything, can be done to save it. Over the next year, the Salton Sea Authority and $20 million worth of scientific studies on the sea's problems, and a wetlands lost to development, this artificial ecosystem has become Mothersite artificial.''. Michael Cohen is a senior associate with the Pacific Institute and a member of the Salton Sea Coalition. fund any programs. in certain areas, preserving vital habitat for non-diving shorebirds But it's to some degree unnatural and is agricultural areas. the sea would become a dry lake bed in 10 years. biologist with the U.S. Geological Service who chairs the scientific include building huge evaporation ponds within the sea to reduce its The suggestion was published today in the San Diego Union Tribune. ``We've screwed up all other possibilities. The sea relies mainly on irrigation runoff from Find out when we open. Over 400 bird species–the largest documented number in North America–nest there. stay in business.''. along the shores. that is evaluating proposals to save the sea. 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