Lawmakers Send an SOS for the Salton Sea
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
The fate of the struggling Salton Sea is a hot topic as the water dwindles, exposing lakebed and sending unhealthy dust into the air.
Local lawmakers are sending out an SOS to the state and federal government to restore the Salton Sea.
A water transfer agreement scheduled for 2017 will reduce water entering the Salton Sea, the dry-up will expose miles of salty lakebed.
Part-time Salton City resident, Dorothy Jarman Murray, is concerned about the state of the Salton Sea.
"We remember what it was like many many years ago and its just sad to see things happening to it because its still a beautiful, beautiful place," said Dorothy.
Assemblyman Manuel Perez is working to save the sea by introducing three bills addressing governance, air pollution and funding through renewable energy.
"We've had studies in the past that amounted up to 6 billion up to 14 billion dollars, but we never had anything that indicated within those studies how we're going to pay for any of that, and so that's why we are quite frankly back at square one," said Assemblyman Perez.
People from across California shared idea's at the Salton Sea hearing.
One proposal even included tunneling water in from the Pacific Ocean.
"The idea is to pump water up from the Pacific up to an upper reservoir in the middle of the night when rates are low, and then during peak times we let the water come back down and run it through turbines to generate electricity," said Safe Energy Association President, Alan Dechert.
There is no question action must be taken soon, officials say public health for the entire region is in jeopardy.
"The danger of doing nothing not only in public health but for our environment and our economy," said Congressman Raul Ruiz.
"The biggest problem is going to be air quality, the blowing salt particles, salt blowing not only onto the neighboring communities but also invaluable farmland, and it will destroy the farmland," said Imperial Irrigation District Director James Hanks, also Salton Sea Authority chairman.
And Dorothy hopes the SOS is heard, to save the Salton Sea.
"It's just a shame not to do something if we possibly can, I know its a big job, but I know it can be done," said Dorothy.
There are currently two court proceedings that could impact the Salton Sea.
One involves the water transfer agreement, the other is a petition to end mitigation flows to the sea in 2014 which would speed-up the sea's dry-up.