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Water Cutoff Accelerates Shrinking of Salton Sea, Escalating Race Against Retreating Shorelines

The Salton Sea is about to start shrinking more rapidly. A 2003 water transfer deal called for the Imperial Irrigation District to deliver “mitigation water” to the lake for 15 years. With those water deliveries ending in the final days of 2017, the lake’s decline will begin to accelerate. More than 19,000 acres of dry lakebed have already been left exposed as the shorelines have retreated over the past two decades. And as the lake continues to shrink, more lung-damaging dust is expected to spew from the growing stretches of lakebed into communities that already suffer from high asthma rates.

Overcoming the Challenges of Small-Scale Water Recycling

In downtown San Francisco, a mixed-use 800ft tower nearing completion at 181 Fremont St. features a water treatment system that will provide 5,000 gallons a day of recycled water captured from the building to be used for toilet flushing and irrigation. That will help save an estimated 1.3 million gallons of potable water a year.

Preparing for a Drier Future Along the Colorado River

After a 17-year run of mostly dry years, the Colorado River’s flow has decreased significantly below the 20th century average.  Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country, now stands just 39 percent full. The level of the reservoir behind Hoover Dam has been hovering a bit above historic lows during the past year, helped by a bigger snowpack last winter and strides in water conservation.