Updates from the Feb. 18 Salton Sea Authority meeting

A 2015 file photo from the shores of the Salton Sea.

The Feb. 18 Salton Sea Authority (SSA) meeting revealed ongoing momentum at the Salton Sea as projects begin construction and new grant funding becomes available. For those unfamiliar with the SSA, it is a joint powers authority made up of representatives from the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors, Imperial County Board of Supervisors, Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the Coachella Valley Water District Board of Directors and members of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Tribe. The SSA meets monthly to address Salton Sea issues.

During the Feb. 18 meeting, Bruce Wilcox, Assistant Secretary for Salton Sea Policy under California Natural Resources, reported that construction is underway on the 420-acre shallow habitat project at Red Hill Marina on the southeast section of the Salton Sea. That project, most of which is expected to be completed in 2016, will cover an

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Historical low elevation at Lake Mead requires united California front

Lake Mead pictured in 2010.

As of this week, Lake Mead’s levels are hovering at 1084 feet above sea level, which is the lowest level for this time of year since the lake filled in the 1930s. While current conditions are good enough to prevent a shortage declaration on the Colorado River this year, such a declaration looms in 2017 and beyond. According to guidelines established in 2007 for river operations, a shortage declaration is triggered when Lake Mead, the reservoir that supplies the Lower Colorado River basin, including California, has a projected elevation below 1075 feet on January 1. Resulting cutbacks, should they occur, would first impact Arizona and Nevada, but nevertheless the need for California water agencies to be vigilant – and united – is critical and points to the importance of the partnerships established by the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA).

The QSA is the framework by

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