A “farm to city” agreement to eliminate the legendary salton sea, California.
The legendary Salton Sea in California may soon need an epitaph, thanks to the fully implemented “farm and city” water trade in 2018. The controversial deal redirects most of the water that now supports the salton sea back to the hungry town. So over the next few years, more than a third of the 350 square miles of lakes in southeastern California will be exhausted and blown away.
Mitigation experts in California say they are working to reduce the environmental side effects of the huge water transfer agreement. But critics say the remission is far from enough to meet the needs of the former holidaymakers to be affected by the diversion of water.
Anyway, since the 1950 s and 60 s, the salton sea is in trouble, the salton sea lined up at the time of the resort community attracted millions of tourists, and frank sinatra’s rat pack, Marx brothers, sonny bono and beach boys.
“They called it the vieira of the desert,” said Steven Johnson, a bartender at the beach town of Bombay. “There are nine marina, swimming, fishing and speedboat RACES. This is where you want to be.
In 2015, birds flew near the red hills pier in California’s largest salton sea.
Mark ralston/AFP/getty images.
Unfortunately, since the late 1970s, the desert Riviera has been overrun by what Johnson calls the “slow-motion apocalypse”. Hotels and marina were inundated with water and dried up by drought. The huge algae bloom associated with farm pollutants kicked people out of the water. Increased salinity associated with evaporation helps kill almost all fish. In the mud at the bottom of the lake, everything from DDT to arsenic was found in dry, dry lakes.
Over the years, national and federal programs to address these problems have repeatedly failed. The farm’s critics of urban water transfer argue that it could make all the problems worse. National Audubon Society (the National Audubon Society) and the Wildlife conservation Society (Wildlife Defenders) such as environmental groups, said the deal may be on hundreds of lives in the salton sea birds have disastrous consequences. Many of these species are already in decline.
At the same time, the public health organization is predicting the air pollution crisis, saying that the dust cloud from the sea is a threat to people living in southeastern California. Towns and cities near the salton sea have seen some of the highest rates of asthma and the most severe air problems in the country, in part because of the burning of agriculture to heavy desert winds. These groups believe that as the salton sea shrinks more than 70,000 acres of the lake bed and the toxic mix will dry up, become dust and be picked up by the storm.
“We don’t know how dangerous the dust clouds are, and that’s not right,” said luis almedo, of Comiv Civico del Valle, a nonprofit public health organization based near the salton sea. “We don’t want to be part of an experiment.”
In August, after years of effort, California lawmakers unveiled a $383 million plan to minimize the impact of water transfers. The plan is not yet fully funded, but if the money is in place, it will manage the remaining thousands of acres of wetlands and freshwater fish ponds remaining in the salton sea. This will help protect the birds and keep the dust.
“It looks kind of like a donut,” said Bruce Wilcox, assistant director of Marine policy at the California department of natural resources. “We want to say that we are developing a smaller, more sustainable salton sea.”
Wilcox said he knew many people were eager to return to the glory days of the salton sea. But he says the days of glory are over.