State Requests Proposals for Water Importation Independent Review Panel
Salton Sea Management Program Update – June 30, 2020
Also: CDFW Seeks Applicants for Environmental Scientist for SSMP; Legislature Approves Budget with 10 New Positions for the SSMP, Funding for North Lake Pilot Project and New River Improvements
The Department of Water Resources is seeking qualified applicants to provide independent third-party evaluation services and a feasibility analysis in support of the state’s long-term planning for the Salton Sea Management Program.
DWR has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to enlist and facilitate an independent team or panel to evaluate water importation proposals submitted to the state in 2018. The panel may also develop and implement a process to accept additional water importation proposals.
The objective of the RFP is to conduct a feasibility study of the proposals received in 2018 and to elucidate whether water importation to the Salton Sea is achievable. Interested entities have until July 27 to submit their application to the state.
In late 2017, the state released a call for innovative solutions to address the challenges associated with declining lake levels. Among those proposals received, 11 described various methods to import water to the Sea. In February 2020, the state released a Request for Proposals as a step toward enlisting an independent review panel to evaluate the water importation concepts. No proposals were submitted in that solicitation.
CDFW Seeks Applicants for Environmental Scientist for SSMP
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking applicants for the Salton Sea program Sr. Environmental Scientist (Specialist) or Environmental Scientist for its Bermuda Dunes office. The final filing date is July 3. The job announcement may be found at https://www.jobs.ca.gov/CalHrPublic/Jobs/JobPosting.aspx?JobControlId=189813.
The position may serve as scientific lead for the CDFW Salton Sea Program and identifies problems, develops courses of action, conducts critical scientific investigations, prepares guidance, policy, planning, and regulatory documents, and legislative proposals and analysis. Desirable candidates will have an understanding of natural resources, conservation, and environmental compliance and permitting laws, with desired knowledge of aquatic ecology, fisheries, water quality, habitat structure affecting fish and bird health and abundance, permitting, and/or environmental justice. The incumbent will work with other local, state and federal agencies, and the public to develop, implement, and monitor Salton Sea habitat projects and related activities.
Interested applicants should carefully read and follow all instructions for submitting their application.
Legislature Approves Budget with 10 New Positions for the SSMP, Funding for North Lake Pilot Project and New River Improvements
The Legislature has approved a 2020-21 state budget that authorizes 10 new positions for the SSMP, including six located at a local Salton Sea office and two at the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Bermuda Dunes office. The positions would be within the Department of Water Resources, CDFW and the Natural Resources Agency.
The proposed budget also includes $19.3 million in Proposition 68 funding for the Salton Sea Authority to implement the North Lake Pilot Project. The funding would provide the Authority with its full allocation of Proposition 68 funding to continue work to address both habitat restoration and air quality impacts on surrounding communities.
The 156-acre pilot project located near the community of North Shore would create new deep-water habitat to replace the habitat lost as the Salton Sea recedes. It would also create shallow habitat that would suppress dust along over one mile of receding shoreline.
The budget also includes $28 million in funding for the New River Improvement Project, which aims to address pollution exposure challenges, create public health benefits and enhance access to green, healthy spaces for Calexico residents. The funding includes $18 million in one-time General Fund and $10 million from Proposition 68.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the budget bills on June 29.