Just When You Thought California Couldn't Get Crazier!

A developer wants to turn the Salton Sea into a luxury resort area!
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/07/30/us/20120730-Salton-12.html
Imagine-luxury condos and homes-next to a drying-up salt lake that stinks of dead fish!
I was always fascinated by the Salton Sea-in the 1950’s it was a popular vacation spot. Now it resembles popular depictions of Hell. For you SoCal Dopers-would you ever seriously consider living there? And where is the money coming from?
Suppose enough water became available to replenish the Salton Sea-and the fishing recovered-would it ever become a popular resort place again?

They’ve been wanting to do something like this for years. Mr. Neville’s grandfather got snookered into buying property there a long time ago as an investment. It never went up in value. (Mr. Neville’s grandfather was a great guy, but not someone you should have taken investment advice from) There are presumably other people who did the same and would like to make back their money.

Show a developer an undeveloped space and he wants to put something there no matter how ill-conceived it may be.

Really. Out here in suburbia, developers have never stopped building houses in whatever vacant lots they could find, despite the fact that, until just a couple of months ago, nobody was buying them.

I can’t imagine how much money was lost like this.

Only worth it if they can get the water to fill it back up again. Given that if they do NOT fill it up, the dried up chemicals, etc. will cause a nasty set of dust storms - there is an assumption that someone will break down and get more water into it.

The question is “from where?” There isn’t going to be another mega-flood of the Colorado River, which is what caused the Salton Sea in the first place. The rivers that feed it can’t keep up with evaporation, and I don’t think there are enough Desani bottles in the world to make a difference.

Quote from the slide show:

Tell that to people living along what used to be the shores of the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea was a natural lake, unlike the Salton Sea, and had been there longer than the Salton Sea has.

Ain’t that the truth. How else would you explain Florida?

And won’t the giant prehistoric reconstituted man-eating snails put a damper on things? I can see them seriously depressing property values

Don’t worry, Hans Conried has it under control.

I was reading up on the tragic story-and these developers actually have a good idea-IF the State and Federal Governments were to save the dying Salton Sea.
Why not divert the Colorado River into the sea, in the winter months? The inflow of fresh water would drop the salinity and restore the fish population. Actually, increasing the size of the sea would be a good idea-it could be a hugely productive fishery, if the fish populations could be re-established. The commercial fishery could be huge-and it would be easy to fish.
Plus , the area is the beast in the continent for solar energy.
So what I thought was crazy, actually has a lot of potential.:smiley:

How much water is there to divert? The aqueduct that supplies Los Angeles is upriver from the Salton Sea. LA takes so much water that the river doesn’t reach the ocean any more. You could probably supply more water to the Salton Sea by peeing into it than you could by diverting the Colorado River.

The Salton Sea was featured in an episode of Life After People, showing how fast a place can go to pot if it’s abandoned and not maintained.

I say dig a channel to the Pacific and let it fill up.

Cool 50s scifi overgrown creatures movie, and Tim Holt’s biggest role since Treasure.

In the 107 years of its existence, the Salton Sea must have formed a tremendous aquifer underneath-why not pump this water to the surface?

The Salton Sea was filled by accident, and development there was clearly a mistake. Thus, accident + mistake ≠ success.

Why must there be an aquifer?

Somewhere I read that there is taxpayer money behind this project. Why are California tax payers handing money over to a developer to build this thing on a lake that is located at a cluster of faults that have been shown to get more unstable as water levels rise? I know you guys are probably under “no open burning” rules from drought, but you could at least just toss the money into closed fireplaces.

I’m about 40 miles from it, and always want to go photograph it. It’s just really interesting, as it’s decaying away. There’s some movie named The Salton Sea, and I’ll need to find it some day. Judging from police reports, the area is pretty much only populated by stubborn, aint-gonna-move’ers and transients. We have a good number of transient ‘cities’ within a couple hundred miles, some of them almost as odd as Salton. I am thinking maybe people just want it cleaned up to get rid of the crime.

I actually found a good book in my library, about the history of the Salton Sea.It is called “Salt Dreams” , by William deBuys. Back in 1958, a SoCal real estate developer bought 190,000 acres of land (for about $5.00/acre). He then promoted his development-it was going to be the next “Palm Springs”. The eager customers/dupes paid $3600 for a house lot. The developed (M. Penn Philips), made a ton of money-but his development never got built. The problem was that the sea kept rising and falling-and the Imperial Valley (in summer) has long stretches of >110 degree F days.
So it looks like history is repeating itself-except it isn’t 1958, and we are in the middle of a depression.
I do think it would be worth saving the Salton Sea-heck, it would cost chump change, compared to what were pissing away in Afghanistan.