Using Water Responsibly
When La Quinta City leaders and neighbors raised concerns about water use at Coral Mountain Resort, we listened.
Every aspect of the environmentally thoughtful project was examined, with numerous adjustments made to create a more sustainable community. The unique water-saving changes include a significant reduction in the size of the Wave Basin and the elimination of all ornamental water bodies from the project, which will save an equivalent amount of water used by the Wave Basin. Using non-potable water for the Wave Basin and desert-friendly landscape irrigation also significantly reduces the impact on local drinking water supplies. Furthermore, Coral Mountain will make a significant financial contribution to a rebate program that incentivizes water conservation through the removal of existing grass around the City, which will more than offset the project’s water needs.
By incorporating these changes and other water-wise efforts, Coral Mountain will be one of the most responsible water users in the Valley.
The Wave Basin will use 1/10th of the water of the golf course currently approved for the site.
We propose replacing a water-thirsty golf course amenity with the Wave Basin, which will require a fraction of the water. The project does NOT use drinking water. Non-drinking water sources will be filtered and disinfected at an onsite treatment facility to meet health and safety standards.
Non-potable water will be used broadly throughout the project for outdoor landscape irrigation. Today, most landscaping in neighborhoods in the Coachella Valley is watered from the HOA and homeowners’ domestic drinking water meters.
To benefit water conservation efforts in response to the drought, Coral Mountain is sponsoring a matching grant with the Coachella Valley Water District to eliminate grass in the community. Over the life of the program, Coral Mountain’s financial commitment will eliminate 2 million square feet of grass and save almost 65% of the drinking water pumped from the aquifer each year. This is equivalent to a 270% offset of the non-drinking quality water used by the Wave Basin annually. The program will begin two years before the Wave Basin is constructed, providing immediate benefits to water conservation efforts.
Our homes will use revolutionary fixture technologies that are 20% more efficient than older fixtures.
The project complies with the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and has an approved Water Supply Assessment and Verification from the water supplier, Coachella Valley Water District.
Dive into the Details
The Wave Basin, which comprises only 13% of the total project water use, is directly connected to public/economic benefit. Compare this to water usage in the Coachella Valley that could be considered “gratuitous,” where turf is strictly ornamental in nature, with no public benefit or economic activity that generates General Fund revenue for the city. Examples of “public benefit” are parks and playing fields. At the same time, “economic activity” relates to taxes generated from hotels, short-term vacation rentals, and special events such as art festivals, car shows, concerts, etc.
How does the Wave Basin compare to the traditional 18-hole golf course that is currently approved on the property with respect to water use?
The Wave Basin will use about 78 acre-feet of water per year, compared to a golf course’s use of approximately 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, 1 foot deep.) Therefore, the Wave Basin will use approximately 8% of the water used annually by a typical golf course. Coral Mountain will use non-potable water for the Wave Basin. Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) provides further details on recycled and non-potable water use at golf courses on its website.
Unlike a golf course, the Wave Basin holds water and is primarily affected by evaporation.
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. While the project’s water use has been deemed sustainable, Coral Mountain has taken additional steps to recognize the importance of water conservation. This includes a decrease in the size of the Wave Basin by one-third, elimination of ornamental water features, and commitment to a La Quinta-wide turf reduction program, as explained above.
No! The Wave Basin will not use drinking water as its water source. It will use non-drinking water sources that are filtered and treated onsite to meet all regulatory health standards for recreational purposes. This will save drinking water for household use. After treatment, the water quality is comparable to that of a swimming pool.
Has Coral Mountain’s water use been vetted by the public water agency and included in the sustainability submittal as required under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act?
Yes. CVWD has a State-approved Groundwater Management Plan under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which requires water agencies to show that groundwater aquifers are sustainable over a 20-year-plus “planning horizon.” CVWD presented this information to the City Council in October 2021. CVWD recently updated its SGMA compliance for the Indio Subbasin in which Coral Mountain is located. In addition, Coral Mountain has a 20-year Water Supply Assessment and Water Supply Verification approved by CVWD and included in the sustainability analysis submitted to the State. The project is included in CVWD’s sustainability planning and, therefore, can be deemed sustainable.
Coachella Valley Water District has no plans to distribute recycled water (a blend of treated sewage effluent and Colorado River canal water) to the area where the project is located. Coral Mountain has committed to using recycled water should it become available, a contingency planned as part of the infrastructure program.
As a side note, CVWD reports less than 20 of more than 120 golf courses in the Coachella Valley use recycled water.
We anticipate that one jet ski will be operated by staff in the basin to reposition surfers and for safety purposes, as is the case at the existing facility in Lemoore, California. Other recreational uses of personal watercraft will not be allowed. This was an operational consideration that was included in the City noise study. As promising electric technologies emerge for personal watercraft, Coral Mountain is committed to evaluating its suitability as part of its ongoing quest to refine and improve the Wave Basin’s operating characteristics.