Surfing in the California desert? Developer’s plan sparks outrage over water use, drought
The proposed building project comes under fire from environmentalists, who say that the building’s footprint on a protected wetland is unacceptable and will destroy an endangered species.
California has the highest rate of water wastage in the nation, according to a recent report. A report released by the U.S. National Park Service looked into water use in the state and found that people in California are wasting nearly 13 billion gallons a day and that the state is short an estimated 5.8 billion gallons a day.
The San Gabriel Valley Water District, which includes Pasadena, Azusa, Chino, and Moreno Valley, serves two-thirds of the metro area, but the district is responsible for some 300,000 acres of land over its service area.
“It’s not about the cost, it’s about saving the environment,” said Brian Nye, managing director of the San Gabriel Valley Water District. “Water conservation is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.”
But the district is proposing a massive development that could destroy a highly endangered marsh that is located just off of Los Angeles International Airport. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has long believed that the marsh, along with three small ponds and two wetland areas that surround the wetlands, would be wiped out should the project be approved.
“We will be forced to move the marsh into a new location because we don’t have access to water and it will destroy the wetland. It’s unfortunate that the developer has chosen to go with this route because they can’t find a more sustainable alternative,” said Robert Boles, a spokesman for the service.
“We’re trying to find solutions and we’ve been working with the developer,” said Joe Lueck of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the LA Basin water basin. “It’s very complicated.”
The developer, LA Water Company, has