Southern California’s Salton Sea is a big, complicated problem, and for the past 30 years, lawmakers, farmers, environmentalists, water agencies and other stakeholders have been trying to solve it.
In fact, it’s hard to keep track of all the work that’s been done. The Salton Sea Authority, a joint powers authority that aims to revitalize the sea, fears that the same research is being recommissioned. That would waste valuable time and resources as the sea’s condition continues to deteriorate.
By creating a Salton Sea Repository, the Water Resources Institute (WRI) at CSU San Bernardino is facilitating potential solutions. The archives are expected to help the Salton Sea Authority and others assess and understand potential restoration plans—with all of the research and documents in one place, they don’t have to start from scratch.
CSU Water Resources and Policy Initiatives (WRPI) director Boykin Witherspoon III is leading the project, which will be held in a donated space at CSU San Bernardino’s Palm Desert campus library.
“The library will offer an open, public place to search for records,” Witherspoon said. “In addition, the university location secures their place as important research and planning documents.”
With the help of staff, students and volunteers, WRI archivist Suzie Earp will spend the next year gathering the source material from the Salton Sea Authority, Bureau of Reclamation, and the United States Geological Survey. Once archived and scanned, the documents will be curated into the Library of Congress.