Monday, August 21, 2017

USA, California: A Salton Sea Agreement Could Lead to More Geothermal Energy Development

Proposed Salton Sea deal would commit California to acting on pledges as lake shrinks (The Desert Sun)

"Geothermal Energy the savior of Salton Sea", by Alexander Schriener Jr. Units 1 and 2 at Salton Sea geothermal field, Imperial Valley CA. View from Obsidian Butte looking south across the declining Lake. Dead tree has Blue Heron nests. 26-Dec-13. GRC PHOTO CONTEST
Five months ago, California outlined a $383 million plan to control dust and build thousands of acres of wetlands around the shrinking Salton Sea. 

But that plan left agencies in the Imperial Valley unsatisfied because only $80.5 million has been approved so far – and they questioned whether the state would follow through and live up to its commitments over the next 10 years. 

Now the Imperial Irrigation District and other agencies have negotiated an agreement with state officials that would ease those concerns by holding California accountable for its pledges under the 10-year plan.

The State Water Resources Control Board announced Friday that it will discuss the tentative agreement – which is formally called a “draft stipulated order” – and hear public comments at a Sept. 7 meeting in Sacramento.

The state’s plan also contemplates the construction of more geothermal energy plants near the Salton Sea’s south shore, where one of the world's most powerful geothermal zones runs along the San Andreas Fault. There are now 11 geothermal plants in the area, and the state’s plan requires that canals and ponds be built to ensure access to areas where new plants could be built.