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Salton Sea Advocate - Regulate Water Transfer


Last updated 8/23/2016 at 8:31pm

Tim Bradley, the director of the University of California, Irvine’s Salton Sea Initiative, spoke before the State Water Board, Aug. 16. He stated that while there is “no question” about the right of the water transfer, he fears an imminent public health threat, “the question is does the withdrawal of water seriously affect the health of California?” Bradley believes the State Water Resources Control Board should step in and regulate the rate of water transferred from the Imperial Valley to coastal California as part of the Quantification Settlement Agreement.

Bruce Wilcox, assistant secretary for Salton Sea policy at the California Natural Resources Agency admits that despite more than a dozen workshops being held in Southern California, more needs to be done. “We need to do a better job of outreach,” Wilcox said. He was “surprised by the lack of understanding and knowledge” by some people in Southern California of the situation, adding the most common question was why the state’s efforts are taking so long.

The size of the sea presents its own problems “We can’t turn the whole sea into a habitat area,” Wilcox said. “We have to partition it in some fashion.”

With the Little Hoover Commission suggesting a state of emergency should be declared at the Salton Sea “to protect the health and safety and preserve the lives and property of the people of the state.”, the Commission wrote that “the governor’s office should take a play from its own playbook and ensure that the assistant secretary and the Salton Sea Task Force, replicate the speed and authority once given to the governor’s senior energy advisor who led the Renewable Energy Action Team. According to the Commission, a senior official was given the authority to push projects through federal, state and local bureaucratic hurdles in order to achieve renewable energy goals, mainly by bringing key players into the room.

The model was simple: ‘Get everyone together. Cut through the red tape to get it done.’”


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