Surfing in the California desert? Developer’s plan sparks outrage over water use, drought effects
A new proposal for a large development in the Colorado Desert is sparking an increasingly vocal debate about water use in the desert – but the biggest concern is the impact of new development on climate change.
DesertX, a development from the Southern California firm Canyon Ranch, calls itself a “renaissance of the desert west” that includes a series of luxury residences and hotels along with “wilderness-style retreats.” Plans for DesertX, which was filed in September 2013, call for a large resort with up to 3,500 units, as well as parks, hiking trails and a golf course. It is expected to be the first major development of its kind in the Colorado Desert.
DesertX’s first community, known as the Rodeo, will feature an 18-hole golf course and a ski area. Residents will be able to golf year-round, ski in the winter and spend their summers on the resort’s six cottages and other facilities.
DesertX’s second community will reportedly be called The Ranch, a small resort with a 9-hole, 18-hole, and 9-tee golf course, a 9-hole tennis complex, and a marina.
DesertX is also developing an 18-hole golf course, and a 5-kilometer walking and horseback trail. It hopes to attract big-name names from the world of sports, entertainment and hospitality.
DesertX’s third community, The Desert, will be a residential community with a “village style development” with a 4-hole championship golf course and a resort hotel with six cottages.
A number of critics have taken issue with DesertX’s plans, including a letter sent last week to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, signed by several people who expressed concern with the impact of new growth on climate change and the region’s water use.
The letter, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, said the project is “too ambitious for a desert, especially one with such fragile ecosystems,” and that it would