December 11, 2023 — The Bureau of Reclamation announced Thursday that $72 million all been allocated to rejuvenate the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake. This funding is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. It aims to fast-track the state’s Salton Sea Management Plan over the next decade. The plan includes initiatives for dust control, aquatic restoration, and water conservation, crucial for safeguarding local wildlife habitats and nearby communities.
Components in the investment include:
- $70 million for California to expand the Species Conservation Habitat Project, aiming to create up to 7,000 acres of aquatic habitat and cover the exposed lake bed.
- $2 million over five years for the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, enhancing the tribe’s capacity to support Salton Sea project implementation
An additional $178 million of funding will be made available upon the implementation of voluntary conservation actions by the Imperial Irrigation District and Coachella Valley Water District under the Lower Basin System Conservation and Efficiency Program. The investment from the Inflation Reduction Act complements the $583 million already committed by the state for Salton Sea projects.
The Salton Sea is located about 60 miles from Palm Springs. It faces challenges from declining water inflows due to climate change, including reduced agricultural runoff. This decline has led to increased dust emissions in the area and reduced critical wildlife habitats.
Image: “The Salton Sea is shallow saline lake located near Palm Springs, CA,” via the Bureau of Reclamation’s press release.