The Imperial Valley was settled as a farming community in the early 1900s, and has remained a primary producer of winter vegetables and an area filled with cattle feedlots. Flooding from the Colorado River has wiped out the valley a number of times in the early part of the 20th century; now a series of canals controls the water flow. The soil is fertile but highly alkaline. The watershed drains to the Salton Sea; the entire area was once underwater as the Gulf of California.
The area newspaper is the Imperial Valley Press.
A large portion of the population is Mexican immigrants. English is more common, but many transactions take place in Spanish.
Imperial County Airport (IPL) serves the county. Commercial air service is offered by United Airlines at the IPL airport. The next closest US airports from the city of El Centro in Imperial County are Yuma, Arizona (YUM) and Palm Springs (PSP), 56 miles away and 90 miles away, respectively.
A car will be your best option in getting around Imperial County. If a car is not an option, the Imperial Valley Transit system may be able to facilitate your needs. Keep in mind the agency offers limited routes.
Imperial County is essentially a safe area. But, it is still known to have some gang activity so always take precautions.
Imperial County has very hot summers. It's known to have temperatures 110+ in the summer (mostly from June to September), including high humidity from June to October so always bring water with you everywhere. Becoming dehydrated is very easy to achieve, so always drink water, even if you are not thirsty.
Call 911 for police, fire dept, or ambulance.