The Wave Basin will use about 120 acre-feet of water per year, compared to golf course use of about 1,000 acre-feet per year. (One acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons, or enough water to cover an acre of land, about the size of a football field, one foot deep.) Therefore, the Wave Basin will use approximately 12% of the water used by a golf course.

Unlike a golf course, the Wave Basin holds water and is primarily affected by evaporation.

The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) used its established evaporation factors to calculate the evaporation rate for the Wave Basin, as explained in detail in the Final Environmental Impact Report. As it turns out, the evaporation calculation is conservative and overstates the amount of evaporation by about 50%. This is because at the time the Water Supply Assessment was prepared, there was uncertainty over the final water surface area of the Wave Basin. The total water surface area came in at 12.5 acres, rather than the 18.72 acres modeled.