IWMP Evaluation: A review of the Salton
Sea Authority's Preferred Project Concept for rehabilitating
the Salton Sea
By Michael J. Cohen
This report, compiled and edited by the Pacific Institute
under contract to the Bureau of Reclamation, presents the
conclusions generated by an experts workshop that evaluated
a proposal to rehabilitate the Salton Sea.
This proposal, known as the Integrated
Water Management Plan for the Salton Sea (1 MB PDF)
("IWMP," also known as the "North Lake Plan"),
would divide the Sea by means of a retention structure or
causeway. The northern portion of the Sea would remain an
open marine environment; the southern portion would be converted
to a series of constructed shallow-water impoundments, with
a terminal brine pool. (See the Salton
Sea Authority's report (PDF) for more information.)
The Pacific Institute and the U.S. Geological Surveys
Salton Sea Science Office convened the evaluation workshop
of more than twenty scientists and engineers, from November
15-17, 2004 in Riverside, California.
The problem areas highlighted by the workshop - water
supply and variability; plumbing and operation of shallow
wetlands in the southern basin; selenium concentration in
shallow, fluctuating impoundments; and dust control -
primarily center on the south basin and what will be done
with the land potentially exposed by diminished lake area.
The report describes the findings and recommendations of
the evaluators, and provides additional background on the
Salton Sea's hydology and ecosystem. The report, published
in March, 2005, is available for download
(1 MB PDF).
More information about the Salton Sea on the Salton
Sea Information Page.