“Being a resort community, the Coachella Valley is full of ornamental water features outside hotels, housing developments and golf courses. …
“These types of features typically use water recycled through their systems, but experts say they could hurt California’s water conservation efforts if they’re left unchecked while the state contends with a drought.”
“As California faces a historic drought, The Desert Sun is launching a new column that takes a closer look at how we use — and abuse — water in the Coachella Valley. … Last week, we asked for examples of public water waste.”
“The Coachella Valley’s water agencies have been awarded a state grant of more than $5.2 million for five water projects that include expanding sewer systems and connecting more golf courses to supplies of recycled water and Colorado River water.”
“The Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, a creature unique to our desert, was added to the federal endangered species list in 1980. The lizard, which grows to 6 to 9 inches, thrives in our sand dunes. …
“In 1985, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established the 3,709-acre Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge to protect the lizard.”
“In a 4-0 vote Wednesday, the [Coachella] City Council approved a series of resolutions and ordinances concerning a 2,200-acre development that city leaders hope will transform Coachella into an economic giant, despite initial concerns about the project’s potentially large infrastructural and public safety demands and unaffordable housing cost. …
“About six miles worth of outside water supply would be imported into the site.
“The Coachella Valley Water District voted to scrap its at-large election system on Tuesday after a complaint by a group of voters that argued the system violated the California Voting Rights Act and was unfair to Latino residents.
“The water agency’s five-member board voted unanimously to make the change, joining a growing list of cities and school districts across California that have similarly altered how elections are held in response to legal challenges.”
“State lawmakers held a hearing in Indio on Wednesday to tout a proposed $6.5 billion bond that would go before voters and would be aimed at alleviating California’s serious water problems.
“Those who voiced support for the bond during the meeting included representatives of the Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District, Riverside County, Imperial County and the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe.”
“BrightSource Energy’s Palen solar project will in all likelihood result in the death of migratory and other birds, and state officials have no plan as yet on how to minimize this and some of the other wildlife impacts of the solar thermal plant, with its two soaring 750-foot towers surrounded by thousands of reflecting mirrors.”
“Responding to a complaint by a group of Latino voters, the Coachella Valley Water District board will study whether to change its election system.
“The water district’s board took up the issue Tuesday after civil rights lawyers representing several voters notified the agency in a letter that they believe the at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 and ‘dilutes the ability of Latino constituents to elect candidates of their choice.’”