Compounding Issues Surrounding the Salton Sea
There are several water related issues plaguing Imperial county, the area encapsulating the Salton Sea. First, the Salton Sea does not have a natural source to maintain its shoreline levels. This will likely take a massive canal project to link the Sea of Cortez to the Salton Sea, which sits around 232 feet below sea level. Doing so will ensure that the Salton Sea will not disappear due to local evaporation. Allowing the sea to evaporate will create extremely poor air quality for Southern California as toxic metals and microparticles become airborne.
On a more local scale, the agriculture sector operating in Imperial county is polluting the body of water with excess fertilizers and pesticides, which in turn create toxic algae blooms and other issues for life in and around the water. There are solutions to these harmful practices such as installing drain tile to reduce surface runoff, and implementing woodchip bioreactors near the outlet of these tile systems. These bioreactors harness the power of microorganisms to break down fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides. This helps to keep these pest substances on the farmland they are intended for, and out of our water systems.
We can bring back environmental health to the Imperial valley, while at the same time improve yields and mitigate risks for the vital farmers of the valley.