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Data Aquisition and Planning

Agrarian produces thorough and detailed inventories of land and water resources including evaluation and quantification of surface and groundwater resources, soils mapping, vegetation mapping. Such studies are the precursors for the evaluation of economically viable land uses and of effective strategies for environmental planning. Agrarian has conducted several studies on resources at the Salton Sea that have resulted in information critical to the restoration planning effort.

The Salton Sea will shrink by as much as 30 percent in the coming decades, exposing over 60,000 acres of sediment that is now under water.  An inventory of the shallow subsurface sediments of the Salton Sea was conducted by Agrarian for the purpose of determining the characteristics of sediments that are likely to become exposed as the Salton Sea shrinks, due to a projected diminished inflow. Agrarian collected over 1000 sediment samples on transects developed around the entire perimeter of the Sea. The sediments were analyzed for texture and organic content, and a subsample of these materials was analyzed for selenium content. Agrarian mapped the results in GIS format, and the data were made compatible with the extensive Salton Sea Database. These data have provided planners with the information necessary for determining how best to prevent exposed sediments from becoming a dust source, or from posing toxicity problems relating to selenium for wildlife.   CLIENT:  Salton Sea Science Office  (2003)


Agrarian was retained by the Salton Sea Authority to evaluate the effectiveness of solar powered water circulators to control odor in semi-confined harbors of the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea Authority installed three SolarBee water aerator/circulators in selected semi-isolated harbors at the Salton Sea in order to test their effectiveness at controlling the noxious odors that periodically emanate from the Sea. Agrarian was asked to perform water quality evaluations designed to determine the effectiveness of the units at ameliorating certain water quality criteria that would be expected to contribute to odors. Sampling was conducted monthly for 18 months. Water quality parameters measured included clarity (measured as Secchi depth and as turbidity), temperature stratification, dissolved oxygen stratification, pH, and conductivity. Water samples were collected to determine concentrations at two depths of selected nutrients, selenium, hydrogen sulfide, and algal populations. The results of this study informed subsequent decisions regarding the utility of these units for odor control at the Salton Sea. CLIENT: Salton Sea Authority (2005-2006)

When the Salton Sea Authority and Science Office determined that there was a need for the evaluation of shallow habitat as a restoration activity, they engaged Agrarian to develop and conduct a workshop for professionals in the field. Agrarian developed a list of appropriate participants, developed and distributed materials, planned and facilitated the workshop, and published the results associated with the development of a preferred alternative for Salton Sea restoration. Agrarian also created a series of maps illustrating the six alternatives considered, and provided a detailed discussion of the features of each option. CLIENT: Salton Sea Authority and Salton Sea Science Office (2003-2004)