Why the Salton Sea Matters

11/21/2017 | Quick….what is California’s largest lake?  If you answered Salton Sea, you’d be right.  It was formed when Colorado River floodwaters flowed into an ancient lakebed between 1905 and 1907. Since then, the lake has been fed primarily with agricultural drainage water from the Imperial Valley.

In 2002, the state approved a long-term transfer from the Imperial Irrigation District to Metropolitan, San Diego County Water Authority and the Coachella Valley Water District. The agencies had to provide water to the Sea for 15 years as mitigation for the reduced agricultural flows resulting from the transfer order.

Water levels have declined over the past decade and the lake will recede even more starting next year, when mitigation water deliveries are no longer required.

But there’s a new spirit of cooperation to solve problems at the Sea. At a recent State Water Resources Control Board meeting held at Met’s HQ, GM Kightlinger expressed support for a new 10-year plan to protect public health and critical Pacific flyway habitat, saying  “Metropolitan is fully supportive of this order and progress on the Salton Sea.” The plan will create 30,000 acres of wetlands and other projects to reduce dust from the exposed lakebed. It’s an big step forward for this important body.

Green Coalition of San Jacinto Valley
“Creating a sustainable community for the San Jacinto Valley”