Recent Agreement by the Federal Government Is Not a Good Deal for the Salton Sea

A feature by Sarah Pilla of Spectrum News 1 covers the recent agreement in which federal government is providing money for Salton Sea restoration projects in exchange for 400,000 AF/year of conservation by Southern California water agencies, with the Imperial Irrigation District responsible for the largest amount of conservation. While the deal has been lauded as a solution for keeping water in Lake Mead, Hydrowonk says it is not a good deal for the Salton Sea.

There is a long history of inaction on the Salton Sea by the state and federal government. With the Imperial Valley making it clear the need for the Salton Sea to be dealt with, the money for restoration projects was likely added to gain the Valley’s support for the agreement. Under the agreement, IID must conserve 250,000 AF/year for four years, but more conservation in the Imperial Valley means less water flowing into the Salton Sea.

Watch the feature on Spectrum News 1, which includes footage from an interview with Hydrowonk

Read additional coverage of the Salton Sea on the Hydrowonk Blog

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About Rodney T. Smith

Rodney T. Smith, Ph.D., President of Stratecon Inc.—an economics and strategic planning consulting firm—advises public and private sector water users on the acquisition, sale and leasing of water rights and water supplies in the western U.S. He is routinely involved in economic valuation of water rights, water investments, and negotiation of water acquisition and transportation agreements and has served as an expert witness in the economic valuation of groundwater resources, disputes over the economic interpretation of water contracts, economics of water conservation and water use practices, and the socio-economic impacts of land fallowing. For more information, see