Colorado River salinity program showing its age

In the latest High Country News, Stephen Elliott reports on the tribulations of the Paradox Valley desal unit run by the Bureau of Reclamation to help reduce salt load on the Colorado River:

Without the unit’s deep injection, the salt that covers the desert valley floor at Paradox, and the thousands of tons of it just beneath the surface, will continue to flow to the Colorado River and its millions of downstream users. Each ton of salt in the river causes $173 in damage to crops, water treatment facilities and the like, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. That puts the price tag for going without the Paradox unit at around $457 million annually, and that doesn’t account for the damage done to fish, bugs and other aquatic life. As Luecke says, something has to be done: “It’s important that that salt be taken out.”