Saturday, 5 October 2013

Holy Shock! Where did all the water go?? With UPDATE!!

So, back in town. And it is good to be back, with many things to look forward to, and lots of exciting events happening - one of the first events is the community beach clean-up as part of the official California Coastal Commission's annual efforts happening on the 9th of November in Salton City from 9am to Noon.  Turn onto SEA ELF St from South Marina Dr and head towards the Sea.


What happened over the last few months while I was gone?

The shoreline has become a whole new landscape. Almost unrecognisable. In fact, as I trusted my instincts as to where I believed the shoreline would be safe to tread on, it turns out I was wrong... but  I only realised this only as I was KNEE deep in the mucky bit.

where i fell in...

So I went and cleaned my shoes and jeans.

the water was nice! Photo G.Mohoff

Here are some before and after summer shots. The before were taken between January and May 2013. The after were taken today, the 5th of October and the 30th of September.

What a summer of devilish heat and blinding sun can do to a body of water 35 miles long and about 15 miles wide (or at least that's what it was roughly before summer) is astounding. Let's remember how fast this lake is drying up. You guys? In the government??? You have to act quick.

Same area from another angle, Jan 2013

Right nearby....

the water came up to the wall...

And here, a just because image.

The level of the water used to come up to the top of the concrete wall, which is about four feet high four years ago. I cannot find this image that I took of this same wall with approximately the same angle about two years ago. I will keep on looking to give a visual.

Look closely The Herons are STANDING. The water is low.

On a different note. We also found an illegal dump site. Makes me want to slap the illegal dumper upside the head. Good thing was there were letters with the address, so that went straight to the local police department and, well I know it is low on their priority list - but I hope they at least talk to the owner of the house. Let them know that they have been found out.

Some of it has already been washed down the wash during the summer rains. I am sure some of it is already in the sea. 

One good piece of news. The Sea was really clean. No dead fish.

UPDATE! AL Kalin, a farmer in Imperial County, who I also interviewed for my book, emailed me with some recent facts surrounding the Salton Sea. Yes, it is declining. Due to evaporation. Which has been the problem for a long time. But, this year's evaporation has been abnormal, in that it has been accelerated. And the IID (Imperial Irrigtion District) is responsible for adding 35,000 acre feet of water by January. Please read on:

What you are seeing is normal. The Salton Sea will fluctuate in elevation annually 1 foot to 1 1/2 feet with the low around the first part of November and high sometime in June or July. However, it has steadily been receding about 0.4 feet per year for the past 10 years.

As you can see on the attached October 3, 2013 graph 
it fluctuated 1.05' in 2012 and 1.3' so far in 2013. IID
still has to put another 35,000 acre feet of mitigation water in the Sea by January so that may stop the abnormal decline seen this year which measures .77 feet so far.

The Sea has been continually declining for the past ten years as a result of the drought. Short of a major hurricane it will never come up again and will continue to decline for at least another 25 years. The decline has very little to do with the QSA (Quantification Settlement Agreement) so far. For every two acre feet transferred to San Diego, IID must put one acre foot of mitigation water in the sea. This year they have to provide 70,000 acre feet of mitigation water for the Salton Sea. 35,000 acre feet has already been put in. The important thing to remember is that the Salton Sea evaporates six feet every year. If all water stopped going into the Sea it would decline at a rate of six feet per year.

The farmers must do conservation to create this water. And yes, the required conservation has been accomplished that will allow IID to add the remaining 35,000 acre feet. Putting mitigation water in the Sea stops in 2017 so from then on you will see a quicker decline in the sea level."

Thank you for reading this.