Prepared by: Brent M. Haddad Ph.D. (UC Santa Cruz)
Independent Review Panel: Rominder Suri, Ph.D.; Philip Burgi, P.E.; Robert Glennon, J.D., Ph.D.; Sharon D. Kenny, PMP; Julie Lockwood, Ph.D.; Adina Paytan, Ph.D.; Robert Raucher, Ph.D.
California’s Salton Sea is rapidly losing water as inflows have reduced over the past 30 years. Its footprint is shrinking and salinity increasing, causing negative impacts to the local economy, public health, and the environment.
In May 2021, the State of California Salton Sea Management Program (SSMP) awarded a contract to the University of California Santa Cruz to evaluate water importation concepts to refill the Salton Sea. An Independent Review Panel was established, with the charge to evaluate public submissions describing ways to import water to the Salton Sea basin to restore the Sea. The Panel operated from October 2021 through September 2022. It produced four formal reports, all available here. The reports narrow the importation concepts from 18 to three based on fatal flaws, and then carefully analyze the three, comparing them to two additional approaches identified by the Panel.
This Summary Report presents the Panel’s conclusion: none of the importation concepts is feasible or recommended.