Mike Cohen, writing for National Geographic’s “Water Currents”, explains what’s at stake in the current discussions over what to do to mitigate reduced flows to the Salton Sea as ag water conservation efforts in Imperial Valley grow:
The shrinking Salton Sea will expose tens of thousands of acres of lakebed. The dry lakebed could emit as much as a hundred of tons of dust each day, posing a severe threat to public health. It would also remove one of the last remaining havens for birds and wildlife along this Sonoran Desert stretch of the Pacific Flyway. Some 90 percent of the original wetlands of the Colorado River Delta and central California have dried up or been converted into farm fields, making the Salton Sea a critical link on the Pacific Flyway.
But he’s optimistic:
Fortunately, even allowing for the IID-San Diego County water transfer, a huge volume of water – more than 700,000 acre-feet per year – will continue to flow into the lake. Properly managed, this water could create and sustain tens of thousands of acres of productive habitat, minimize dust, and create recreational and economic opportunities….
Now, after more than 50 years of studies and meetings, the future of the Salton Sea may offer some glimmers of hope.
Worth a click for the full explanation of recent promising developments.