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    Salton Sea: First Restoration Project Approved

    by Sheryl Hamlin

    North Shore Yacht Club Lake

    The Salton Sea Demonstration Project is more than a pilot. It is a stake in the ground and its success, according to Riverside County Supervisor Perez, will give credibility to the plan and the group′s ability to execute the plan. Supervisor Perez said he grew up in the Coachella Valley and saw opportunities go west rather than to the east side. He was in the State Legislature and neither Brown nor Schwarzenegger accomplished what Newsom has accomplished with respect to the Salton Sea.

    The project funding, according to the new Riverside County (RIVCO) Salton Sea website, is coming from Proposition 68. $19.2 million will design and partially construct a 156 acre shallow and deep water habitat for fish and birds stimulating the local economy and providing recreational opportunities. In the rendering below, note the dock emanating from the renovated Frey designed Yacht Club, which was renovated by Riverside County and is being used by the community. The image below is an artist rendering. It is envisioned that small boats and canoes could be used on this lake. The RIVCO website has links to water source analysis as well as property owners who will be involved in this project. The project is enduring, said one panelist, and is not a disposable pilot, but will be part of the new Salton Sea.

    North Lake Community Project: source Riverside County

    Management and Engineering Team

    In addition to Supervisor Perez, the team who has taken on this responsibility includes the following:
    Juan Perez, COO, Riverside County
    Patrick O’Dowd, Executive Director Salton Sea Authority
    Dudek Engineering

    Recent Community Involvement

    Community meetings have been held to explain the project and answer questions. Two significant events were February 5, 2022 and October 15, 2022. Video links are at the RIVCO website. Note the October 2022 link has not yet been posted.

    Notable Questions

    What are the water sources? The water analysis is in process but they estimate between 1,900 and 2,650 acre-ft. of water per year (af/y) of water will be needed. The analyses will be on the RIVCO website.

    The project includes building a berm that is 10 to 12 feet high. The challenges include designing for a wet sea and a dry sea, as the sea recedes. How are berms reinforced? What is the outfall to maintain water quality? The conceptual design will be ready by March 2023 and there is a geotechnical engineer on site now with a survey to be finished soon.

    Will the pilot integrate with the Perimeter Lake design (currently preferred solution)? Ideally the pilot will integrate with the final solution.

    How much of the Prop 68 funding is design versus construction. There will be $4 million to get ready to and the rest will start the construction, but more will be needed.

    What is the lifespan of the berm? There is an on-going maintenance plan and monitoring plan. The berm will be able to withstand both wet and dry lake conditions.

    How will the Salton Sea restoration integrate with Lithium mining? The lithium mining is in the Imperial County south end and is not a factor in the north end. (See map below) Note the area where geothermal plants exist and planned extractions of minerals shown in hatched area at the south end.

    GEOG 350 Final Project Source

    How to communicate to team? Please send questions and thoughts to Doug Ordonez at [email protected] who is bilingual in English and Spanish.

    For more articles about the Salton sea, click here.

    For more information about the author click sherylhamlin dot com



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    Sheryl Hamlin
    9 days ago

    Will Lithium Mining Turn California’s Salton Sea into a Green Energy Sacrifice Zone?

    29 days ago
    Reply to  Sheryl Hamlin

    What makes you think it’s Arizona’s job to clean up California’s mess? You must be a liberal.

    Sheryl Hamlin
    28 days ago
    Reply to  Dotty

    You obviously do not undetstand what Sen Kelly is proposing.

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