Design-Build Authority to Drive Efficient Momentum for Salton Sea Recovery


salton sea exposed playa

INDIO — Due to a new law signed by Governor Brown, the Department of Water Resources will gain a valuable new tool for efficient project deployment to revitalize the Salton Sea.


SB 839 authorizes the Department of Water Resources to use design-build procurement for projects at the Salton Sea. Design-build authorization can save time and money as the state and its partners race to transform an ecological and human health disaster into a Sea with a healthy, prosperous future. Design build authorization means that a single contractor would oversee a Salton Sea project. This contractor could then hire the designer and builder at the beginning of the process. The design-build process saves time by procuring the designer and builder at the same time, and allows the builder to be a part of the design process which makes for smooth transition into construction.


Phil Rosentrater

“The Salton Sea Authority and its partner agencies continue to urge state and federal government action to accelerate projects to help revitalize the Sea,” stated Phil Rosentrater, Executive Director of the SSA. “The SSA applauds the state legislature and administration for approving this additional way to save time and money at the Sea.”


The SSA is a joint powers authority empowered to work in consultation and cooperation with the state of California Natural Resources Agency to restore the Salton Sea. As the largest inland lake in the state of California, the Salton Sea is home to nearly two thirds of all migratory waterfowl traveling the Pacific Flyway. The Sea ecosystem and economy are threatened by rising salinity levels and lowering water elevations, a trend expected to worsen due to massive agricultural-to-urban water transfers in December 2017.


The SSA and its partner agencies – Imperial Irrigation District, Riverside and Imperial Counties, Coachella Valley Water District, and Torres Martinez Tribe – are working tirelessly to establish a healthy, prosperous future for a smaller but sustainable Salton Sea.


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  1. Why not use sole panels to boil a tank of water with a dripping system with piping to and from the lake. This way it is alway filtering 24hrs a day and fresh pure water is put back in the Salton sea. So simple people. The salt that remains gets bagged and sold for profit. This is a win win enviorment, you win on the extra profit from the solar stored or not all used and sell it back. The project pays for itself and pays for employees paycheck. It’s like boiling a pot of water with a cup inside to purify the salty water but in waste water tank size amounts. With in a year depending on how many tanks your using the Salton sea would be ready for familys to enjoy vacations again.

  2. Serendipity plays a role in answering questions about saving The Salton Sea.
    Sea water lies less than 99 miles away from the ‘Sea’, but, as Mr Norm Niver would say, no more salt can be tolerated. So, 68 miles north of the Border, is Niland, which lies in the midst of America’s largest GEOTHERMAL Field. Before we put Gulf of California water into our Sea, we Desalinate it with ‘Flash Steam’ so that, in the end, the Sea gets refreshed daily– 24/7!

    • Out of curiosity, what would you do with the byproducts of a multi-stage flash distillation process? Because one of the outputs is super salty water. That water would go…where? While we dump drinkable fresh water into the sea?

      Desalination is not a valid solution to the problem of the Salton Sea. The scale is just far too large to even bring the salinity down to ocean levels. Unless and until you can come up with a viable disposal process for all of those waste products that would be generated.

      • Fresh water is the only solution to the issue and that is not going to appear by magic. Desalination will work with the brine put into the geothermal re injection stream. To make it work on the scale needed will require a HUGE investment and dozens of plants.
        Time to try to seal the exposed areas and make due with what we got.

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