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Electric Vehicle Maker Stellantis Will Buy Lithium Produced at Salton Sea

A major electric vehicle manufacturer has inked a 10-year deal with a company operating at the south end of the Salton Sea for battery-grade lithium hydroxide, a huge boost for nascent production in an area that has long struggled with unemployment and pollution.

Controlled Thermal Resources’ Hells Kitchen project has signed a binding agreement with Stellantis N.V. to supply the product for use in Stellantis’ North American electrified vehicle production.

The Salton Sea Could Produce the World’s Greenest Lithium, if New Extraction Technologies Work

About 40 miles north of the California-Mexico border lies the shrinking, landlocked lake known as the Salton Sea. Once the epicenter of a thriving resort community, water contamination and decades of drought have contributed to a collapse of the lake’s once vibrant ecosystem, and given rise to ghost towns.

But amidst this environmental disaster, the California Energy Commission estimates that there’s enough lithium here to meet all of the United States’ projected future demand, and 40% of the entire world’s demand.

New Book Explores Relationship of Salton Sea and People Throughout History

The Salton Sea: The very name conjures images of a one time dazzling inland Riviera and beachy playground of the Rat Pack situated in the depths of eastern Riverside and Imperial counties’ remotest deserts. It also brings to mind, for some, images of a curious, modern-day wasteland, rife with the ruins of old trailers spray-painted with graffiti art, abandoned ski boats and a rapidly receding shoreline.

Opinion: Will Salton Sea Lithium Dreams Come True? It Will Be Years Before We Know

The underground chemical stew beneath the Salton Sea is believed to hold enough lithium to power millions of cars and homes with green energy. But only if — a big if — enough of that scalding “geothermal brine” can be brought to the surface and the lithium sifted out.

That’s an incredibly complex process. And it’s just about as hard for those who live around the sea to separate reality from dreams when it comes to the impact of all that lithium.

In the best case, we’ve heard over the years, a lithium boom could generate billions of dollars; bring thousands of badly needed jobs for those living near the sea; spur an environmental revival; and give clean energy to a region, the state and beyond.

Riverside County, State Officials Unveil $19.25M Marina Project on North End of Salton Sea

State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and other local leaders revealed a plan Saturday for a recreation and restoration project at the Salton Sea using $19.25 million in state funds.

The Salton Sea North Lake Pilot Demonstration Project is slated to be an approximately 156-acre marina that will be located near the current North Shore Beach and Yacht Club Community Center in the community of North Shore.

“The North Lake Pilot Demonstration Project is an important habitat and dust suppression project and a major investment in state funding to revitalize the northern end of the Salton Sea as well as the community of North Shore,” Perez said in a statement.

Lithium in a California Lake Could Help U.S. Gain Energy Autonomy

Deep in the Southern California desert, a massive drill rig taps into what could be the energy of the future.

Temperatures in the region can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and residents live under the threat of toxic dust caused by decades of agricultural runoff depositing chemicals into the Salton Sea, a saltwater lake.

But in the brine lies lithium, a key ingredient for electric vehicle batteries, and the billion-dollar drilling project promises to not only transform an impoverished region, but also help the United States gain energy independence.

Newsom Voices Pledge to Lithium Valley

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday, Jan. 10 announced a commitment to incentivize and spur development of the state’s lithium reserves around the Salton Sea.

“We have what someone described as the Saudi Arabia of lithium here in the state of California down in Imperial County near the Salton Sea,” Newsom said on Monday as he unveiled his budget proposal for 2022-2023 dubbed “The California Blueprint.”

Drought and Water Supply: A Year in Review

Drought and water supply in the Southwest U.S. dominated the water news in 2021, from the Colorado River Basin to California.

COVID-19 continued its grasp on all aspects of life in 2021. Even in the face of the pandemic, the work of providing water as an essential service continued for every agency with the responsibility of making sure their constituents have the water they need to sustain their communities, farms and businesses.

Salton Sea Habitat Restoration Project Touted

An ongoing species conservation habitat project at the Salton Sea’s southwestern shore is serving as a reminder that the sea’s restoration remains a key priority for Gov. Gavin Newsom.

So, too, is a tour that dozens of state, federal and local stakeholders took of the project site where the New River enters the Salton Sea several miles west of Westmorland on Friday, Dec. 10.

Among those present was California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot, who said the tour was an acknowledgement of the ambitious Salton Sea Management Program’s progress and the overall work that remains to be done.

Can Lithium Cure What Ails the Salton Sea?

Studying the complexity of mud on the ocean floor is a life’s work for Timothy Lyons, so when the tall and lean biogeochemist asks you to join an expedition in search of chemical mysteries buried deep beneath the waves, be prepared to get wet and dirty.

On a recent foray onto California’s largest and most troubled lake, Lyons rode a Zodiac skiff with a 15-horsepower engine across the Salton Sea against a backdrop of desolate mountains, dunes and miles of shoreline bristling with the bones of thousands of dead fish and birds.