Palm Desert approves project no one will regret during the next bad drought

A project expected to cost nearly $200 million that promises to bring a 5.5 acre wave lagoon to the area around Desert Willow for those too lazy to drive two hours to the free waves at the real beach was approved unanimously by the Palm Desert City Council on Thursday night. The council, who appear to suffer from short-term drought memory loss, approved the development, which estimates it will use a total of 23.8 million gallons of water per year for the lagoon and a total of 53.8 million gallons for the entire property.

Via the Desert Sun:

The vote came at the end of a two-hour public hearing that prompted comments from about 15 people — all but three in favor of DSRT Surf resort.


Opponents were concerned with water usage as well as issues involving traffic, noise and lighting, which officials said were addressed in the plan presented by Desert Wave Ventures LLC, the project’s environmental impact report and Coachella Valley Water District’s approval.


“Palm Desert has long been a leader in environmental sensitivity and when Desert Willow was first constructed the universal use of gray water to sustain the golf course was sufficiently innovative that the golf course appeared on the cover of the Smithsonian magazine,” Councilwoman Kathleen Kelly said.

So why go ahead with such a water-sucker that will easily be the focal-point for water-waste during the next bad drought?  Well…

Proponents said the project brings economic opportunities not only to Palm Desert, but also the Coachella Valley as a whole as a year-round destination. The project is expected to create more than 400 jobs, while also inspiring more development – hotels, restaurants and homes.

And hey, if it’s like all other resort projects in town, that does mean one good paying job (GM who is usually brought in from out of town) and a bunch of jobs that are, well, not high-paying (literally every other job at the property).  Plus, maybe it will bring in more resort projects that do the same exact thing, so, who knows, we might get four or five really good paying gigs out of this – seems totally worth drying up the water tables, amirite?

The project, surprisingly, is not the only one of its kind being planned in the Coachella Valley and, yup, I just checked, we are still actually a desert with a limited water supply.