Opinion: How water desalination could save the Salton Sea

Salton Sea
A view along the north shore of the Salton Sea on Sept. 15, 2015.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Water desalinization is the solution to both saving the Salton Sea and providing water for crop irrigation in the Imperial and San Joaquin valleys. (“Where’s the money and the plan that will save the Salton Sea?” Opinion, Oct. 16)

A pumping station built in San Felipe in Baja California would pump water from the Sea of Cortez into the Salton Sea. A desalination plant built in the Salton Sea would provide treated water to Imperial Valley farms for irrigation and consumption.

Another desalination plant built in Stockton would provide irrigation for San Joaquin Valley farms. Existing pumping stations would provide the California Aqueduct with treated water for distribution. Revenue bonds could be sold for construction of the desalination plants, with repayment of the bonds by farmers and consumers of the treated water. Amortized over time, costs can be mitigated.

Such a plan would eliminate Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to build diversionary tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.


Craig Simmons, Northridge


To the editor: Battles over saving the Salton Sea remind me of those fought over Owens Lake and Mono Lake before that. Clearly San Diegans, like Los Angelenos, are understandably willing to accept these losses as a tradeoff. Likewise, the residents of the Imperial Valley have expressed a similar opinion. 

The solution, other than creating an artificial canal, is to let Mother Nature address the problem by default and wait for northward geologic rifting to eventually connect the Gulf of California with the Salton Sea. It shouldn’t take more than a million years.


Arthur D. Wahl, Port Hueneme

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