Controlling Salt in the Colorado River Kib Jacobson Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program...

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Transcript of Controlling Salt in the Colorado River Kib Jacobson Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program...

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Controlling Salt in the Colorado River Kib JacobsonColorado River BasinSalinity Control Program Manager

The Colorado River Basin 246,000 square milesWater for 35 million peopleMore than 4 million acresirrigatedThe Problem

Historically, 9 million tons of salt passed Lees Ferry every year 47% occurs naturally

53% is human-caused

9 million tons of salt would require The Colorado River is 1,450 miles longa train of hopper cars about 1,000 miles long


Red: Upper Cretaceous salt bearing formations

Federal lands Lt. GreenApprox. 40% of Basin

Source Sectors

Grand Valley COSaline Springs and Groundwater DischargesNatural Salt-LoadingNatural Salt-Loading

Evaporation, Transpiration,and ErosionPrice, UTNatural Salt-Loading

La Verkin SpringsHuman-Caused Salt-Loading

Irrigation PracticesIrrigation Sources

Human-Caused Salt-Loading

Reservoir OperationsLake Powell

Crystal Geyser near Green River UtahHuman-Caused Salt-LoadingDamages Sectors

Agricultural DamagesIncreases water use and operating & maintenance costsLower yields and limits type of cropCrop ProductionMunicipal Damages

Additional treatment requiredand reuse capability reduced Accelerates appliance andpipe deterioration

Industrial DamagesAdditional treatment requiredfor high tech applications Accelerates pipe andmachinery deterioration

Colorado River Basin StatesIn cooperation with Reclamation Clean Water Act of 1972 Plan of Implementation Numeric Criteria Water quality standards that include:

The Numeric CriteriaBased on 1972 salinity dataCalculated as a Flow-weighted Average Annual ValueMeasured at three locations in the Lower BasinNumeric CriteriaHoover - 723 mg/LParker - 747 mg/LImperial - 879 mg/L


Sources of SalinityRangelandBadlandsSpringsErosion 47%



Sources of Salinity