Don’t Miss Opportunity to Examine Dire Salton Sea News Firsthand
Just a Few Seats Remain for our Lower Colorado River Tour Feb. 27-March 1

As a plan to ensure water for millions of people in the drought-gripped Colorado River Basin is held up by funding demands to restore the shrinking Salton Sea, ominous predictions about the desert lake’s ecological collapse are beginning to occur. Recent reports have found some birds that rely on this important stop on the Pacific Flyway are dying along its shores and some are not showing up at all.

In the meantime, a water utility that serves the Imperial Valley, where the Salton Sea is located in southeastern California, wants $200 million from the federal government for the lake’s restoration efforts before signing the Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River.

You can see this sea up close during our Lower Colorado River Tour, Feb. 27-March 1, when we will visit the fragile ecosystem and hear from several stakeholders working to address challenges facing the sea.


Water Education Foundation Is Your Go-To Source For News And Information

Water Education Foundation is your go-to source for news and information about water in California and the West.

Each weekday, we compile Aquafornia, a roundup of major water news from around California, the Colorado River Basin and the western United States.

We produce our own journalism in Western Water, our flagship online publication offering in-depth examinations of critical water issues as well as shorter notebook articles on interesting water topics, spotlight stories offering a look at innovative projects and Q&A’s with newsmakers.

Water News You Need to Know

Aquafornia news

Happy Presidents’ Day from Aquafornia!

Dear Aquafornia readers,

Aquafornia is taking off Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 18.

We will be back on Tuesday, Feb. 19, with a full slate of water news.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter where we post breaking water news and on Facebook

- From the staff at the Water Education Foundation

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Friday Top of the Scroll: Sites Reservoir is Sacramento Valley’s water project. But L.A. is taking a huge role

Over the past two years, scared off by the anticipated costs of storing water there, Valley agricultural irrigation districts have steadily reduced their ownership shares of Sites. The powerful Metropolitan Water District of Southern California … is nearly as big an investor in Sites as all of the Sacramento Valley farm districts combined. Metropolitan agreed Tuesday to contribute another $4.2 million to help plan the project.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Atmospheric river leaves mud, traffic, flood scares in Bay Area

An atmospheric river storm that walloped the Bay Area on Thursday, causing traffic snarls, flood scares and at least one major mudslide that wrecked homes and cars, has finally left Northern California. … The biggest storm of the winter so far also delivered something quite valuable: a boost to the Sierra Nevada snowpack to 102 percent of its historical average for April 1. In other words, California already has the equivalent of an average winter’s snow supply, with six weeks still left to go in this year’s winter rain and snow season. 

Related articles:

Aquafornia news Buzzfeed News

California’s major dams face risks of floods and failure due to climate change

Major dams in California are five times more likely to flood this century than the last one due to global warming, a new study finds, possibly leading to overtopping and catastrophic failures that threaten costly repairs and evacuations. That means Californians can expect more disasters like the Oroville Dam, whose overflow channel failed in 2017 after days of flooding had filled state reservoirs to 85% of their capacity.

Online Water Encyclopedia

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Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems in the world. They produce high levels of oxygen, filter toxic chemicals out of water, reduce flooding and erosion, recharge groundwater and provide a diverse range of recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to photography. They also serve as critical habitat for wildlife, including a large percentage of plants and animals on California’s endangered species list.

Salton Sea
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Salton Sea

As part of the historic Colorado River Delta, the Salton Sea regularly filled and dried for thousands of years due to its elevation of 232 feet below sea level.

The most recent version of the Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado River broke through a series of dikes and flooded the seabed for two years, creating California’s largest inland body of water. The Salton Sea, which is saltier than the Pacific Ocean, includes 130 miles of shoreline and is larger than Lake Tahoe

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Drought— an extended period of limited or no precipitation— is a fact of life in California and the West, with water resources following boom and-bust patterns.

No portion of the West has been immune to drought during the last century and drought occurs with much greater frequency in the West than in any other regions of the country.


Important People in California Water History

Read about the history people who played a significant role in the water history of California.