SALTON SEA — The decades-long debate on how to reduce the Salton Sea's salinity appears to be nearing completion as the lead agencies in the project prepare to propose a preferred method from narrowed-down options.
The Salton Sea Authority and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation are looking at solar evaporation ponds and so-called enhanced evaporation system methods to reduce salt levels in the sea.
"These are the most practical and pragmatic (methods)," said Tom Kirk, executive director of the Salton Sea Authority.
Kirk estimates anywhere from dozens to hundreds of suggestions of how to desalinize the sea have been made in the past 30-plus years. The methods under consideration deal with the problem locally and are cost-effective, Kirk said.
The solar pond options include on-land or in-sea ponds.
According to a restoration plan status report presented to the Salton Sea Authority board of directors last week, each solar pond module will process 17,000 acre-feet of water and remove 1 million tons of salt per year.