Talk:Salton Sea

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Stub no more[edit]

Looks great!!! Big improvement. I looked at the stub a while back but was too overwhelmed (and too green) to try and tackle it. However, given the nice organization that now exists, I'd like to add some bits and pieces here and there, where they'd fit in. In particular, I hope to flesh out the "future plans" stuff, i.e., Salton Sea Authority's plans, IID's as well, since I will have access to them. (And intend to see them all posted online, if they aren't already.) Also, there's no Wikipedia article for the QSA, which will be a big factor in Salton Sea water levels lowering over the next 5-10 years. I'd like to flesh out some of that too (as a link). I'm working on all this stuff for my work (for a public agency) anyhow. So, my Wikipedia edits are kind of like "homework" I do after hours. Would welcome any suggestions, feedback, etc. Thanks! (Oh, and I plan to add a ton of Salton Sea related pix to Wiki Media / Creative Commons. Will add images to article if/where appropriate. Feel free to browse the pix!) Cynthisa (talk) 00:32, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I've replaced the Salton Sea stub with a greatly increased discussion of it's formation, overall history, and some of the environmental and political issues.

However, it still needs work: the history is brief and I intermingle history and politics when they should probably be separate.

Since the Salton Sea (and what to do with it) can be a sensitive issue for people in those parts, I've tried not to offend, but it will likely take a few revisions to get a good NPOV.

Kaszeta 20:53, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Super, that's a lot more useful that the junk I left here those many months ago. I hope you'll add a photo or two, and ideally details of the settlements that (if memory serves) surround the sea. Also, I don't know if there are any rivers that naturally flow into the salton sea (I guess there aren't), but any artificial inflows should be added to List of rivers of the Americas by coastline's "inland basins" section. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:05, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Local communities added and linked to, most of which are just census data stubs and should be fleshed out at some point, with links back to the Sea. Local river basin has been described, and some of the overall information on desalination efforts was added. Partial Metric conversion, too, to save someone the effort later (Aside: how do metric countries measure irrigation water---i.e. what's the closest metric equivalent to acre-feet? I've never thought of that before). -- Kaszeta 13:29, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Did you know there is a documentry about it? [1] -- 00:34, 26 June 2006 (UTC)Gord

An anon had deleted the Disasters category link. Let it be clear that that tag is there because the lake was formed by a dike breach, a disaster by any definition; it is not a judgement about whether the resultant lake is a Good Thing or not, a matter about which we should maintain NPOV of course. seglea 06:01, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Ecological Hazards of Salton Sea[edit]

Actually, the geography of the region does form an inland sea and a "Salton Sea" has existed many times before the prior century's incarnation. It's not "unnatural." Cynthisa (talk) 00:26, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

The Salton Sea is unnatural... people should stop trying to save it. It's not a Good Thing. It is an abomination and it must go. It will evaporate soon enough if people just leave it alone. It does not belong. --Node 21:31, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I guess drying the sea up would disperse too much salt and other stuff all around that territory. Although it would be natural, of course, to let the sea evaporate by itself. 15:12, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
This isn't the place to talk about such things, this is merely a place to discuss the article (oh and we can't add that the sea should or shouldn't disappear as that is a matter of opinion).Father Time89 (talk) 21:29, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

The article goes straight into a section that discusses how to 'save' the Salton Sea, without mentioning how it is endangered, or what saving it might consist of. This is perhaps not noticeable to people who've been maintaining the article for a while.

---Nick Schuyler begin--- I thought this was a very politically biased article; Wasn't this basin closed for the most part due to its danger to recreational humans, waterfowl, and fish? Isn't the Salinity level as high as the equally unsupportive Dead Sea? ---Nick Schuyler end---

Tilapia are the survivors but they look all dead in the photo[edit]

so like there is a photo of dead tilapia fish but the article says the tilapia are the ones that survive the best. Is it getting too salty for them too? or are those other less tolerant fishes dead there?

The article does say that due to the increasing salinity, "only the tilapia will survive", yet a later paragraph states that, due to selenium levels, parasites and algae, die-offs are common of all fish species but "mostly tilapia". This does seem to be a serious contradiction. If the die-offs are "mostly tilapia" how can "only the tilapia...survive"? I think the section needs a rewrite for either clarity or accuracy. (talk) 17:18, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Toxic metals and chemicals are different than salinity. The salinity is killing the other fish, but the pollutants are killing the tilapia. Hope this clears things up. Shannontalk contribs 18:59, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

There are actually three kinds of hazards that can kill fish in the Salton Sea. Salinity, toxic pollutions and fertilizer pollution. Salinity can be selective of which species can tolerate the salt or not. Pollutions with toxic substances such as selenium or what have you will probably be equally tough on all species, but perhaps with a small amount of selective bias, dependng on the nature of these substances. Fertilizer pollution is usually not hazardous in itself, but often cause eutrophication with algae blooms and subsequent loss of oxygen, rising bacterial levels etc when the algae decompose. This is a massive killer and will also be equally tough on all species, but with a slight advantage to species that can live in oxygen deprived conditions. Don't know if Tilapia is one such species?

All this said in an effort to sum up some of the complexity in an ordered way, something I feel lacks in the article. Room for improvement. RhinoMind (talk) 00:25, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Sea-level Canal??[edit]

The idea of a sea-level canal for Salton Sea strikes me as dubious. A sea-level canal connects two bodies of water, both of which are at, um, sea level. For example, the Suez canal. But the Salton Sea is *below* sea level, so it doesn't qualify. In other words, there is no way Salton Sea could be at one end of a sea-level canal. Water would simply rush down the canal from the ocean into Salton Sea. I would like to see a reference to proposals for such a canal and study them for validity. Otherwise, I propose that the topic should include a disclaimer about the workability or be omitted entirely. Jedwards05 (talk) 01:01, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

the sealevel canal means it STARTS at sealevel - it was NEVER the idea to flood the Salton sea basin, just to enter fresh sea water to stop the evoporation of the water. ----
If you create a canal connecting the Salton Sea to the ocean, wouldn't the conceptual problem (that the Salton Sea is below sea level) go away rather rapidly? — (talk) 22:02, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

It should be obvious that a Sea Level canal is not practical. This concept has been offered by those who wish to to belay the practical concept of canals to bring water into the basin and export water out of the basin. Import/export by pipeline is also impractical because of the high energy requirements. A small consulting firm offered the State of California a practical plan for import/export which was never given serious consideration by the Advisory Committee. DWR prepared another pipeline import/export plan and condemned it as too much money. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:13, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Technically you could have a "sea-level" canal that just had a few locks along it, though you would definitely need at least one! If not, eventually the entire area would flood with sea water. Piping is an option, although you'd need to ensure there was less than 200 ft of head loss along the pipeline (and given that distance, good luck). Otherwise you'd need some pumping stations. Either way, the article looks very POV imo, as it seems to "push" the idea of a sealevel canal. (talk) 14:21, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
"current surface of the Salton Sea at 226 ft (69 m) below sea level" Either a canal or a pipeline would have to allow for a rise/fall of over 200 feet. Naaman Brown (talk) 16:39, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
it's intended to raise the Salton Sea up to sea level, people!!! Most likely a canal from the Colorado Delta!!! Shannontalk contribs 19:01, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Wouldn't raising the Salton Sea to sea level make the Salton Sea incredibly huge?? Ridiculously so? BUt then again, if the sea levels are going to rise world wide.........what the heck?? Why not. (talk) 21:51, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, Calexico and Indio would become port cities. Cities like El Centro would cease to exist. You could theoretically have ocean going ships docking in Indio. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:33, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Between the rise in the water level of the Salton Sea, and the canal from the Pacific Ocean to it, between one thousand and two thousand square kilometres of land would be under water. Salton Sea salinity could increase, or decrease, depending upon how the canal is built. A broad (1 000+ metres), deep (250+ metres) canal would decrease salinity. A shallow (25 metres), narrow (10 metres) canal would increase salinity. The broad canal would be more expensive to build, but offers several benefits that other solutions don't offer.p (talk)

Pipelines can carry water up to 35 feet over rises before cavitation. With the sea so far below sea level, a pipeline - ditch arrangement could carry water from the Pacific to the Salton through a siphon-resevoir-siphon arrangement, and restore water levels. 48 inch pipelines with the ends submerged in lakes or ditches are the way to go. It wouldn't be a navigable waterway, but it would keep the Salton Sea water level up. I think you have to differentiate between the desires to navigate up the Salton to reach ports near LA, and the desire to keep the shoreline from receding and exposing alkali flats.{ (talk) 22:12, 21 August 2015 (UTC)}

Creation Section[edit]

The section involving the creation of the salton sea repeats the story of how the Salton sea was created, I propose we combine relevant information from the two repeats and cut back on the repeated informationFather Time89 (talk) 21:41, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm all for getting rid of redundant redundancies. Bugguyak (talk) 23:50, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I just took a look at the creation section and there are no citations to any of the factual statements. I am new to Wikipedia, but the major Articles I have seen have at least one cite for each statement, including a short quote from the referenced work. It takes some work, but it is the best way, I think, to postion the Article for "Good" or someday "Featured" status.Wikipedia:Good article criteria Even assuming that status is not a goal, references would give the reader reasons to believe what an Article says. Also, if text has been copied from a source, there could be copyright problems absent any attribution.Stwiso (talk) 23:41, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Heh heh, that's my fault, I'll correct it. Shannontalk contribs 21:55, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll add these when I have the time: [2] [3] [4] Shannontalk contribs 22:01, 11 January 2010 (UTC)


Although trivia or pop culture sections are a burden to articles, I don't think it is inappropriate to note popular culture citations in Talk for possible inclusion in the article if notable. The Monster That Challenged the World was a 1957 sci-fi movie set in and around the Salton Sea (for a lot of Americans outside California, it was the first they knew about the Salton Sea). Naaman Brown (talk) 17:00, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Airspace information?[edit]

While the information about the airspace above Salton Sea is good information, does it really belong in the summary/introduction? It seems a bit specialized to pilots. I wouldn't mind the information somewhere down in the article, but not in the intro... Davejenk1ns (talk) 18:00, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Every piece of dirt or water has airspace over it, and this airspace is not so unique to deserve space in the lead. Moved and tagged as citation needed. --S. Rich (talk) 20:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Torres-Martinez Wetlands[edit]

It would be great to see some information on the wetland project that Debi Livesay is directing on the Torres-Martinez land on the north end of the lake at the mouth of the White River. Any input? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 22 September 2011 (UTC)


This article says "It is believed that once the salinity surpasses 4.4% w/v, only the tilapia will survive", but the linked article tilapia says these fish "inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats" but does not seem to mention any saltwater varieties. (talk) 13:32, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Game stuff[edit]

To the various ips, your favorite video game may contain references to a sea resembling this one, but that is irrelevant here. The info about that fictional sea belongs on the game page - not here. Vsmith (talk) 13:36, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Is this not pop culture? I'm just trying to show that there is a rendition of the Salton Sea in the video game and that the Salton Sea continues to make marks in pop culture. ( (talk) 09:36, 11 October 2013 (UTC))

If you examine the other items in the list, you will note they are about the sea or some aspect of it. That the video game makers modeled a fictional place after the sea is rather not about the sea nor relevant to this article. It would be relevant to discuss that fictional place in the article about the game. Don't rightly know what "making marks in pop culture" means. Vsmith (talk) 13:18, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
I understand now that it has to be about the Salton Sea or an aspect about it and not about something being modeled after it. Though, I still don't know why it was called sock puppetry. I also don't understand how any of the documentaries and in particular the mentioning of an article in the Los Angeles Times have any relation to popular culture. According to the Oxford Dictionary, popular culture means 'culture based on the tastes of ordinary people rather than an educated elite'. ( (talk) 23:25, 11 October 2013 (UTC))
Perhaps the section should be retitled to Media appearances or something akin to that. Although the History Channel and others there are aimed at "ordinary people". About the sock puppetry -- when one user edits with different "accounts" ... however, as you appear to be editing with a dynamic service you ip changes often, making it appear problematic. Probably shouldn't have used that ... apologies. Vsmith (talk) 01:14, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Aplogy accepted, the name doesn't need to be changed after all, the History Channel and others are aimed at ordinary people. I'm sorry for writing in such an angry tone on your talk page. ( (talk) 02:55, 12 October 2013 (UTC))

Perhaps it should be added to the popular culture section that there is a representation of the Salton Sea in GTA V. It is called the Alamo sea, and the beginning of the Trevor Phillips missions take place at this location. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

If you can provide a WP:reliable source indicating the game is relevant to the sea, perhaps so. Meanwhile, it seems that you should focus on explaining the connection in the game article where there may be relevance. Have you read the above comments? Vsmith (talk) 20:40, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
The above comments have nothing with what is asking. This link mentions the Salton Sea and how Rockstar Games parodied the sea and named it Alamo Sea. ( (talk) 07:43, 17 October 2013 (UTC))


Why did you undo my 2/3/14 change? I grew up in the metric world, I assume in contrast to you, and I'm telling you again: dam3 is a highly unusual unit. km3 would be the unit to use here. Why didn't you just leave it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

The article uses a combination of metric & non-metric measurements. Sometimes metric is first and sometimes not. Please refer to WP:UNITS and then decide/come to an agreement. Thanks. – S. Rich (talk) 23:47, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
This was not the point. I was talking about the metric part only. And there, dam3 is a unit in theory only, but I have never seen it used in practice. In situations like these, km3 is used. Kindly leave it that way, unless you really have a convincing counter-argument. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
You two need to come to some sort of agreement. If you search "dam3" in Wikipedia, you get 92 places where it is used. (See: [5].) But Dam3 redirects to Cubic metre. (And a cubic meter is certainly different than a cubic kilometer (km3).) So what is the proper usage and what is the reliable source that explains it? (Also, I suggest you folks register as WP editors. We want people with the interest and expertise to work on these articles. Registration would help all of us. Thanks.) – S. Rich (talk) 05:02, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Let me suggest you *google* for it. Among the first pages returned, there is not one single text using it - only theoretical explanations about what it means (and it might go on like that on the pages that follow). - If you refer to other WP articles, then they were probably written by americans - thus people not really familiar with the SI, just as here seems to be the case. Still thanks for the effort, but kindly remain open for advice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

The decametre (dam) is a perfectly valid unit and dam3 (cubic decametre) is valid as a unit of volume. As one acre foot converts to 1.2 decametres the volume units are similar in size, which is likely why that conversion was used. However, the cubic decametre and its abbreviation dam3 is unlikely to be meaningful to most readers and a conversion to either km3 or m3 would cause less confusion. The dam3 bit shows up in the Remediation efforts section also and consistency would be good. But then ... how many readers are familiar with acre foot? (though easy to visualise ... for those who can relate to acre)
Anyway, rather than edit warring -- build consensus here for whichever unit to use. Vsmith (talk) 13:40, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

The volume parameter for {{Infobox body of water}} refers to cubic metres & cubic kilometres. Decametre is not used. Frankly I was confused when I saw dam3 come up. I thought it dealt with something related to dams. Best to stick with km3. – S. Rich (talk) 15:01, 15 March 2014 (UTC)
Done - dam be gone. Go with more familiar terminology. Vsmith (talk) 18:42, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Very good article overall, but I want to point out that, years after this discussion, there is still no consistency in the units - partly imperial first, partly metric first. I would kindly suggest the actual clean-up work be done by somebody less prone to making a good article bad through good intentions. Gonesoft (talk) 06:13, 19 October 2016 (UTC)


The surface area has been estimated as 362 sq mi per USBR and 376 sq mi per Salton Sea Authority. I understand that 15 mi x 35 mi = 525 sq mi, but it would only work if the lake were rectangular, with no peninsulas or marinas. In reality, the Salton Sea's shoreline has very complicated contours. Small yet numerous peninsulas and artificial elements (such as marinas) probably reduce the surface area of the lake significantly. Moreover, the "525 sq mi" figure only seems to be used by blogs, Facebook, Flickr and other social media... and I suspect they got it from Wikipedia. In short, we have reliable sources for 362 and 376, but not for 525. We certainly shouldn't post our own calculations (read "original research") here no matter how accurate it may seem. This is the logic behind this edit. You're welcome to revert it if you can support "525 sq mi" with a more reliable reference. Nandaro (talk) 23:31, 3 April 2014 (UTC)


There could be more about how the 1960s era of high-end aquatic tourism came to an abrupt end with the early 1970s floods, and how since then the needs of the Salton Sea have generally come out on the losing side of most water policy disputes (i.e. third in line behind the needs of farmers and San Diego area municipalities)... AnonMoos (talk) 23:24, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

In popular culture[edit]

The Salton Sea also features in Jon Krakauer's "Into The Wild". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:42, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Question on the Colorado River[edit]

Is there a reliable source for the statement that the Colorado river (sic) has flowed into the area for "millions" of years?THX1136 (talk) 15:55, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

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Add film 'Little Birds' (2011) to "In Popular Culture" section[edit]

The film 'Little Birds' premiered at Sundance in 2011. It was set and filmed at the Salton Sea. It has both a Wikipedia page and an IMDb page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2605:6000:1701:8007:7D99:AAFE:E046:C0 (talk) 04:13, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Where Does the Salt Come From?[edit]

The source of the salt should be in the lede, as it's one of the 1st questions the interested reader is going to have. Too much technical detail in the lede, and not enough basic information.2605:6000:6961:5E00:FDB8:2191:6665:8F31 (talk) 02:34, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

It's a sea with no standard in-flow of freshwater. I'm not sure clearly how it should be edited, but certainly a lot of the interested readers will know that causes salinity without Wikipedia saying anything.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:33, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Why this happens is described in the article Endorheic basin, which is linked from the lead. Britmax (talk) 12:25, 5 February 2019 (UTC)