Ruiz Calls for Drought Mitigation Funding to Protect Salton Sea

Ceci Partridge

(CNS) – Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, called Tuesday on the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation to allocate drought- mitigation funds to protect the Salton Sea.

In a letter sent to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Ruiz addressed the ongoing public health and environmental crisis at the Salton Sea, asking for a portion of the $4 billion in funds included in the Inflation Reduction Act for water management and conservation efforts.

“As a doctor, I am deeply concerned by the effects of the Salton Sea on my constituents’ health,” Ruiz wrote. “Denying the Salton Sea proper mitigation funding would exacerbate the issue and further hurt vulnerable, disadvantaged, and tribal communities.”

He wrote that the Salton Sea’s exposed lakebed, due to water cuts from the Colorado River, has damaged air quality and increased the danger of respiratory issues for people in nearby communities.

Ruiz explains that California water agencies such as the Imperial Irrigation District, the Metropolitan Water District, the Coachella Valley Water District and the Palo Verde Irrigation District have offered substantial cuts in the amount of water drawn from the Colorado River, while asking that such cuts be accompanied by mitigation funding for the Salton Sea.

“Not only is this a reasonable request, but mitigation funding for the Salton Sea should be a prerequisite for any water cuts to the region,” Ruiz wrote.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

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