BOMBAY BEACH — Data on how well solar evaporation ponds reduce the salinity of Salton Sea water, and the seepage rates of those ponds, is being gathered at a pilot project near here.
The $500,000 pilot project has been in full swing since May 1 when water was introduced from the sea to the 10-pond project.
Carla Scheidlinger, project manager for the Bishop-based Agrarian Research and Management Co., said data will be collected for a year.
"We have seen what was predicted: that larger concentrations of salt evaporate slower," she said.
Water from the sea, which is about 25 percent saltier than the Pacific Ocean and has about 44,000 parts per million salt, is pumped 1,000 feet to the first pond.
There, the water begins to evaporate and is gravity-fed to successive ponds, each of which is six inches lower than the one before it. Each successive pond is smaller than the previous, as evaporation occurs faster in larger bodies of water.