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Salton Sea Management Project

Ogden Environmental and Energy Service

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION

TITLE

PAGE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

ES-1

1.0

INTRODUCTION

1

1.1

Background

1

2.0

PROJECT SETTING

3

2.1

History of the Salton Sea

4

2.1.1

Lake Cahuilla

4

2.1.2

Salton Sea

5

2.1.3

Agriculture

6

2.1.4

Beneficial Uses

6

2.2

Physical Description

8

2.2.1

Geologic Setting

8

2.2.2

Physical Characteristics

8

2.3

Hydrology

1 0

2.3.1

Inflow

10

2.3.2

Evaporation

12

2.3.3

Surface Elevation

12

2.4

Water Quality

12

2.4.1

Salinity

12

2.4.2

Other Dissolved Solids

15

2.5

Biological Resources

17

2.5.1

Vegetation Communities

20

2.5.2

Wildlife

23

2.5.3

Sensitive Resources

42

2.6

Socioeconomics

3.0

SALTON SEA MANAGEMENT TARGETS

42

3.1

Project Purpose and Need

54

3.2

Management Targets

55

3.2.1

Target Salinity

55

3.2.2

Target Elevation

56

3.2.3

Threshold Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Costs

56

3.2.4

Technological Feasibility

57

SECTION

TITLE

PAGE

4.0

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED OF MANAGEMENT

ALTERNATIVES

57

4.1

Diked Impoundments

64

4.1.1

Alternative Dike Structures and Design

64

4.1.2

Diked Impoundment Alternative Configurations

70

4.2

Pump-out

77

4.2.1

Pump-out Alternatives

78

4.3

Combinations of Impoundment and Pump-out Alternatives

88

4.3.1

Diked Impoundment/Evaporation Pond/Pipeline

Alternative

88

4.3.2

Diked Impoundment/Solar Pond Power Generation/

Constructed Wetlands

90

4.3.3

Freshwater Shoreline/Pumped Storage

90

4.3.4

Joint USA/Mexico Solar Power Generation/Pumped

Storage Laguna Salada Salt Disposal

94

4.4

Removal of Salts from Inflow to the Sea

96

4.5

Water Imports

96

4.6

Other Proposed Options

97

5.0

ALTERNATIVES EVALUATION AND SCREENING

97

5.1

Diked Impoundments

97

5.1.1

Time to Reach Target Salinity

98

5.1.2

Elevational Changes

100

5.1.3

Operation and Maintenance Costs

101

5.1.4

Other Considerations

101

5.2

Pump-out

103

5.2.1

Time to Reach Target Salinity

104

5.2.2

Elevational Changes

106

5.2.3

Operation and Maintenance Costs

107

5.2.4

Other Considerations

107

5.3

Combination of Alternatives

109

5.3.1

Time to Reach Target Salinity

109

5.3.2

Elevational Changes

109

5.3.3

Operation and Maintenance Costs

109

5.3.4

Other Considerations

110

5.4

Removal of Salts Before Water Enters the Sea

110

5.5

Water Imports

110

5.6

Other Proposed Options

111

6.0

CONCLUSIONS

111

6.1

Alternatives Screening

111

6.2

Environmental Scoping

113

7.0

REFERENCES

118

LIST OF TABLES

SECTION

TITLE

PAGE

2-1

Salton Sea Inflow and Relative Contribution from Major Sources

10

2-2

The Ionic Composition of Salton Sea Water Compared to Ocean

Water

15

2-3

Concentrations of Selected Nutrients in Bottom Sediments in the

Salton Sea Area, August, 1986

18

2-4

Fish Species Found Occurring at the Salton Sea

26

2-5

Aquatic Habitat Dependent Birds Occurring at the Salton Sea

33

2-6

Terrestrial Wildlife Species Occurring at the Salton Sea

43

4-1

Proposed Alternatives to Manage the Salton Sea Salinity and

Surface Elevation

58

4-2

Summarization of the Value Engineering Team's Recommendation

for Alternative Dike Structures

66

4-3

Corrected Costs for Selected Dike Designs

70

6-1

Proposed Alternatives to Manage Salton Sea Salinity and Surface

Elevation that Meet Screening Criteria.

114

LIST OF APPENDICES

SECTION

TITLE

PAGE

A Economic Profile Study

A-1

B Sensitive Resources

B-1

C Salton Sea Diked Impoundment Model

C-1

D Salton Sea Hydrologic Pump-out Model

D-1

E Letters of Comment

E-1

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