HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » California (Group) » The Salton Sea is a disas...

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 12:59 AM

The Salton Sea is a disaster in the making. California isn't doing anything to stop it

California’s largest internal body of water is steadily drying up, exposing a lake bed that threatens to trigger toxic dust storms and exacerbate already high levels of asthma and other respiratory diseases in Southern California.

Yet there is something about the Salton Sea that leads many lawmakers to ignore the urgency and put off remediation programs. It’s just so far south — off the mental map of officials who represent more densely populated urban areas to the north, like Los Angeles. It is hydrologically unconnected to the Bay Area and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which supplies water for so much of the state’s agricultural and residential use. It is a disaster in the making, yet it is an afterthought.

That attitude is understandably galling to residents of the adjacent Imperial Valley, who are (for now) the ones most affected by the increasing dust and who have witnessed firsthand the degrading ecological conditions. They have heard officials promise repeatedly to fix this catastrophe by creating wetlands that moisten the exposed bed and sustain an ecosystem that continues to support migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. They have repeatedly seen those promises broken.

The dimensions of the failure were for many years merely theoretical, but they became real in the winter just past. As the rain and snow washed away drought and at least temporarily diminished environmental problems in the rest of the state, the contraction of the Salton Sea accelerated. Increasing salinity kept the lake from sustaining even the salt-hardy tilapia. The birds failed to appear.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-salton-sea-failure-20190329-story.html

5 replies, 1002 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Salton Sea is a disaster in the making. California isn't doing anything to stop it (Original post)
Zorro Mar 2019 OP
JayhawkSD Mar 2019 #1
MattP Mar 2019 #3
MattP Mar 2019 #2
msongs Mar 2019 #4
RockRaven Mar 2019 #5

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 01:17 AM

1. We've been hearing this tune, with the same words, for many years.

 

Yes, the lake may dry up and, yes, it may have ill effects. The problem is, this is not a natural lake. It has no natural inflow and, being below sea level, has no outflow. It was created by man-made accident, the breach of irrigation works moving Colorado River water to places that nature did not take it. Not only has the breach been repaired, but the routing of the irrigation water has been changed.

That it has existed this long is due only to the artificial and man-made introduction of water into it. As reserves of water, in Lake Mead and the flow of the Colorado River, have diminished we have not been able to continue to artificially maintain this artificial lake. There is good reason to question why we should.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 01:38 AM

3. The damage needs to be fixed the poison is going into the air everywhere

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 01:36 AM

2. I smelled it in Anaheim tonight

It's getting much worse it's going to ruin Palm Springs if the stench gets year round

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 01:46 AM

4. run a pipe from the gulf of california. after all the SS is a human caused accident nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Mar 30, 2019, 02:13 AM

5. All of the toxic crap added to the Salton Sea in the last century is indeed a modern human-created

problem. But that should be considered separately from the issue of the damn thing drying up -- that is a natural phenomenon. It was a dry salt flat/lake bed 115 years ago. Only a human-caused accident temporarily added water to the basin, providing the reservoir to temporarily store toxic run-off in a dissolved or underwater state.

The last non-human-caused filling of the Salton Sea basin was more than a millennium ago.

Especially considering that the Colorado River is so over-used that it will never again re-fill the Salton Sea with errant flood water until humans pass from the local scene, we need to deal with the Salton Sea in the context of terminal drying/evaporation being inevitable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread