Author: Joyce

The Salton Sea Conflict Could Be a New Chapter in the Salton Sea Conflict

The Salton Sea Conflict Could Be a New Chapter in the Salton Sea Conflict

Salton Sea cleanup in jeopardy as states battle over Colorado River water diversion

The battle over what to do with Colorado River water is spilling over into the Salton Sea, the body of water between the two states that has been in dispute since before the first settlers arrived in what is today Riverside County, California. The latest conflict was reached in April, when both Arizona and California went to court over the matter. The case is in an Arizona court, but it could wind up in the Supreme Court. That is where it would be most valuable to environmentalists and climate change activists – it would give them the ability to directly influence the court’s future jurisprudence should either state choose to go to war with the other.

This new chapter in the Salton Sea conflict was picked up by reporters for the California Environmental Law Report back in May. The paper said that a water diversion treaty between the two states that governs how water from the Colorado River flows into Mexico will “give states the power to determine who’s allowed to fish in and use our waters, to prevent pollution and to help clean up the beaches and rivers of our oceans. This is a major deal.”

One of the main players in the case is attorney and California state senator Kevin de Leon, who has been fighting for years against the proposed diversion treaty, arguing that it will lead to a greater loss of fish and wildlife than any other deal in history could possibly create.

He says that although there is nothing in the treaty that would prevent the state of Arizona from diverting water, the treaty leaves much open to question.

California had previously attempted to build a desalinization plant on Imperial County near the Salton Sea in order to use the Colorado River water for the plant, but the state of Arizona successfully sued California in court to stop the project.

In April, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that the state could block the plant and take away the water while the two states fought over the water. In an interesting turn of events, in their ruling Chief Justice Eric Rosenbaum noted that the court’s responsibility was to decide whether the agreement would violate a fundamental California state constitutional right, which was the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which included the right to enjoy the resources of the Salton Sea. The court ruled in favor of protecting the water as a fundamental right.

But the state

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