Salton Sea

salton-sea-2I was recently reading an artical on Inhabitat talking about how it is the source for an awful smell in LA. Well to be honest I'm surprised anyone can smell a difference there. But it got me thinking about this documentary I saw by John Waters Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea. It really is a beautifully shot film, even though the subject matter is at best depressing. Basically you have a giant inland sea that was created by an accident and then just kinda went to shit. But we will get back to that later.

So years ago I had floated an idea with some intelectual types about reclaiming the Bonnneville salt flats, I was thinking how it used to be a large body of water but now its dry. So technically its like having a swimming pool that is dry, but still holds water. There are other locations around the world of dry or drying bodies of water.

So we are faced with some news from NASA that the surface ice of Greenland is melting and our real concerns isn't really the melting of ocean ice but on shore ice and glaciers. When they melt they add to the rising water, and floating ice displaces more water than it takes so when it melts is actually takes less space in the ocean. Now it's nearly impossible to make your own glacier btu maybe we can put that water somewhere else.

People have proposed pumping water into the Sahara, Gadafi was actually planning on a gigantic piplike to the center of Libya. But my concern is putting water where is hasn't been. An untested location that requires more than just a pipe.

So places like the Dead Sea and Bonneville can hold a bunch of water and so can the Salton sea. Those are three good starting points and then you can put in salt farm to maintain salinity. So what can you do with large bodies of water besides reducing sea level? The quick choice is fish farming and tourism, I really like the fish farming. Bonneville would be a large salt lake with no predators great breeding grounds for free roaming fish. But I think that is short sighted, we need to think bigger. Plankton farms they sequester CO2 and produce oxygen the area could even be used to reconstitute plankton in the oceans. But wait there's more.

Water is really interesting is reflects light not as well at snow and it also acts as and air conditioning unit for the air flowing over it. But again think bigger, here is a bit I remembered giving a glance at a while back. Basically if you can reflect light back it helps the planet not absorb as much heat and keeps the planet cooler. So what can we get from this? We remove and reduce the rising sea levels, we create CO2 sequestration sites and produce food and lastly we create giant mirrors in arid environments to reduce the local temperature.

Here is what I'm worried about, cloud seeding. These large bodies of water in arid environments will be victim of evaporation that was one of the problems the Salton sea had the water wasn't replenished enough and the salt levels rose and a lot of other issues. so you have to supply the area with more water on a regular basis. But that isn't the issue once the infrastructure is in place. No cloud seeding that's what I'm worried about. These will produces clouds and cool the cimate and I'm not sure if we can predict where those clouds will go and how that will effect the local and continental climate. The benefit of this it the production of clear water that can be recaptured.

So there it is a grand plan to move water around to grow alge and make mirrors.