Kelly Slater Wavepool Rejected From Coachella Valley

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

In 2015, the Kelly Slater Wave Company fired the first shot in the wavepool race, yet they've been unable to capitalise on that early lead.

A proposal on the Sunshine Coast hit a hurdle, largely owing to wholesale removal of a wetland, while a 2019 project for Palm Beach, Florida, was scuppered when it was found a high water table would pose engineering problems.

This week, another project, this one planned for the California desert, was rejected for the opposite reason to the Florida pool - where Florida had too much water, the California desert has too little.

If the Coral Mountain project were to proceed it would've required a zoning change, however on Wednesday night councillors from La Quinta City Council voted unanomously against the proposal.

“I think this is a cool project,” Mayor Linda Evans told the Los Angeles Times. “But I don’t think it’s in the right location. And maybe the timing isn’t great because of the drought.”

The development site for KSWC's Coral Mountain wavepool

The pool would have stretched across 16.6 acres and required 68 million litres to fill - the equivalent of 27 Olympic swimming pools. It was the central attraction of a project that also included 600 homes and a 150-room hotel.

During the meeting, opponents said the pool would, among other things, waste precious water at a time when the US southwest is enduring a record drought. Rivers such as the Colorado River are at their lowest level in decades revealing little known features.

“We’re at a point in history where we cannot be freely wasteful of water,” said Laura Dolata, a resident of La Quinta. “When the water crisis reaches a critical point and water must be curtailed dramatically, and rationing becomes a reality, an operating wave park will be a problem for all of us.”

Surprisngly, the KSWC proposal is one of four wavepool proposals for the Coachella Valley, which already houses 120 golf courses.


frog's picture
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frog Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 8:39am

Cue the sad lament of another MMMOOSS (Must Make Money Out Of Surfing Somehow) fail..

frog's picture
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frog Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 9:05am

Have a listen. I think I can hear Kelly, definitely Elo and then Ziff takes over for sure in the last half with some heartfelt mournful roars - recorded at a recent Board meeting I think. The pain. The sorrow.

simba's picture
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simba Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 9:01am

Kelly the environmentalist....

Tristan Goose's picture
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Tristan Goose Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 2:17pm

Never forget when I called him a pseudo eco-kook in an instagram message after the news about his pool in the desert a couple of years ago. He got back to me in 5 minutes and wasn't happy

Justasurfbum's picture
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Justasurfbum Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 10:28am

I thought 120 golf courses must have been a typo, but no, 120 there are.
Interesting 120 golf courses would get environmental approval and yet a wave pool is, beyond the pale.
Or are golf courses now good for the environment? Having trouble keeping up here.

Perhaps they just didn't pony up enough, re-election donations for the right people.

wax-on-danielson's picture
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wax-on-danielson Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 3:03pm

Not sure about Biden and Obama but the Republican Presidents are avid golfers.

AlfredWallace's picture
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AlfredWallace Wednesday, 28 Sep 2022 at 8:20pm

Justasurfbum. I hear you. This will ruffle a few feathers, i dislike golf courses immensely, mainly due to their horrid impact on the environment . In my eyes golf is just a good walk spoilt.
The constant use of insecticide, herbicide, fungicide and inorganic fertilisers (phosphates with salts) form leachates and exudates in soil profiles that leach there nasties into water tables below. Birds eggs with traces of chemicals within and thinly formed shells are often good early enviro chemical markers that there’s problems.
Some years back i watched a documentary (either ABC or SBS, can’t remember) titled ‘The Green Menace’, alarmingly about the terrible outcomes of the scourge of golf courses throughout Thailand. Shocking medical stories of women caddies constantly handling golf balls and dermally absorbing chemicals that sadly spawned malformed children among many families. This is just one story. Other topics covered were ecosystem destruction, illegal rainforest clearing to expand the courses landholding etc. Well worth a watch if you can find it.

udo's picture
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udo Thursday, 29 Sep 2022 at 10:40am

SBS The Cutting Edge July 1994
Can only find vid....Slueth Brokensha will find it....

AlfredWallace's picture
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AlfredWallace Thursday, 29 Sep 2022 at 11:20am

Udo. Good one mate. Hopefully somebody can find it.Hope you are well and getting waves.

kookfactor's picture
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kookfactor Monday, 3 Oct 2022 at 11:29am

Thing is there are over 1800 golf courses in Australia, a dry continent. So why be shocked by something that is further from home? We might think we are surf mad but golf mad would be more accurate.

hahnsolo's picture
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hahnsolo Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 2:20pm

build one in coffs harbour we got tonnes of excess water here

Sam M's picture
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Sam M Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 7:00am

I think you can make a decent case for a pool in Coffs. Cheap enough land to be found in some places. Halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. High percentage of surfers.

scruffy1's picture
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scruffy1 Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 2:52pm

keep counting.... 124 irrigated golf courses, which must soak up a lot of moisture

don't think palm springs has a lot of surfers, but it does have a lot of retirees, in a "hot desert climate"

Summers are extremely hot, with daytime temperatures consistently surpassing 110 °F (43 °C) while overnight temperatures often remain above 80 °F (27 °C). The mean annual temperature is 75.6 °F (24.2 °C)... that's a shitload of evaporative loss on an open pool

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 5:41pm

Working a lifetime to enjoy the 43 degree temps in the desert, no thanks

lost's picture
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lost Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 8:40pm

At least it would be a shit load warmer water than the Tula tub in winter

fozzybear's picture
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fozzybear Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 5:04pm

does that bald prick really give a shit or has he had us fooled for years

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 5:43pm

With all the water for the golf courses, is it a case of NIMBY > MMMOOSS? Love the acronym btw, one day I too will MMMOOSS, surely. Until then my 2c is free :)

If water was perceived as being available, I reckon it would be a pretty good idea given the area, it's attractions, retirees etc

scruffy1's picture
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scruffy1 Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 6:52pm

your multi-letter acronym may as well be swahili

what is mmmooss ?

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 10:50pm

see first comment in thread

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 8:59pm

Slaters pool rejected. Golf sprinklers OK

Kelly at 9 o'clock on the Ninth green.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Sunday, 25 Sep 2022 at 10:50pm

Fairway drive continues...
Coachella Pop is under 1% of California & boasts 28% of State's Golf or as crew said 124 courses..
California Golfers average 1% of Total State Water Use
10% of Coachella's jobs are in Golf & use 24% of Valley Water...that's a pretty big 14% handicap!

Just how much does California have to subsidize this Coachella Hodad Ratpack.
LA $ 5.06 / unit of Water subsidises 352% of Coachella Valley's $1.12 / unit.

{ Factcheck } Ye olde Hodad Fable ~ "Wave Pools use less Water than Golf Courses."
WSL Coral Mountain Pool 12 acres (vs) PGA St Andrews / Pebble Beach 600 acres.
Hardly a fair comparison?
Q: Now we gotta compare lesser Golf Courses to WSL Olympic Pool > How Big is yer White Board?

Wave Garden / Golf can equally run Recycled Water...this way tbb can give " their" measured sample...
Averagely large 4.4 acre Wave Garden = 1 Semi Pro (1 acre) Golf Hole on an averagely large 18 acre course.
Punters would swear a Wave Pool uses more, but this still needs to be put in perspective!

Golf Courses don't whip up slippery shiny Waves of Milk & Honey thermals to feed our Sun God!
Courses are banned from watering on windy days & midday (vs) Wind vanishes waves into thin air!
Greens / Fairways soil drains back to the Groundwater & cools to slowly release Oxygen into Atmosphere!

Coachella Valley Golf Courses have reduced 10% Water in 10 years & now must reduce a further 45%.
Golf Courses are therefore rewarded as Community proactive & bankable in reducing Water.

Wave pools need set amounts of Water so can't give up or share a cup full or it would go outta business!
This is seen as some kind of alien freebie as whole community are giving up their lifestyle.
In today's world ~ Eco Villain Wave Pool Bullies steal the waves from underneath a Ratpack of rafters.
An upside down world gone mad...surfing a sea in the middle of the thirstiest desert.

All other recent Coachella Valley Wave Pools twice or only half as big were unanimously approved.
Kelly's 18.6 acre > (reduced) > 12 acre Lagoon was knocked why was that?

Reckon the crew will know there are numerous reasons why!

tbb will further filter thru these reductions & approvals to reason why by recycling this review.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 1:18am

Recycled Filtered Water is the Answer!
All approved Coachella Valley wavepools source recycled water & filter it to immersible standard.
Kelly's Pool was sourced from scarce & highly valued potable Ground Water but not to immersible standard!

As such Kelly reduced Lagoon Water Surface & (Rides) by half...
Size reduced From 18.6 > 16 > 12 acres ( Volume 18MG > 15MG )
UFO Spotlights were halved from 80 > 40ft + Hotel was lowered 10% (45ft > 40ft ) Local View Shed?
WSL Comps were reduced
Ask! Was recent CT WSL ranch upgrade timed to kick this over the line as a World Class Comp Venture!
Think! Would've looked shitty if WSL doesn't rate their own Goat track as World beating...(Thumbs Down!)

Disney Beach Lagoon is twice the size but has some huge pluses...
Partnered with Crystal Lagoons Hot Reef Tech...(Big Winner!)
22 Acre Lagoon can filter & cool 100 MW Power Plant that heats the massive lagoon to recycle the process!
Unlike VIP Ranch > Disney will sell $60 US (Approx) Day Passes to access US #1 Artificial Beach.
This includes full dunking & Gulping of water (vs) Kelly ( No dunking > Above Board Auto Pilots only!)

Crew can see that Kelly is falling behind with latest industry standard potable immersible pool tech.
All others can filter Water quality to immersible standard...all approved...all but Kelly!

But how is that such a big deal with Water conservation > re: Swimming (vs) Board Riding = (Massive!)

Pool Exit + Surf Industry standard Water Usage of & by Surfers & Wave Pool Operators!

Firstly : Wind wastes 30-70% more Wave Pool water than a Flat swimming Pool surface!

Swimmer Exit 1.5L > Eco Squeeze Bottle Shower 1.5L > 15L/min Beach Shower = Max Total 16.5L / swimmer
No extra gear or equipment for water waste?
re: Disney crowded 1 minute turnstyle beach queues for quick showers > Bang > Hurry > Move it > Gone!

Boardrider Exit Only
Wetsuit 5L + Leggie/Hat/Board 2L = 3.5L (Bare top Summer) > 7L / Boardrider (Winter + Wettie)

Repeating Yes! This is real Wave Pool Water Waste Data...tbb is purely reciting this from Lead Pool techs!
What follows is also promoted from WSL lead CT is the real deal to tally Waste Water data set.

Boardrider Showers (Breakdown Times / Gear > re: Basic Surf Industry Standard / Promoted or advised)

Surfboard Rinse > Eco (Hand Pump Sprayer) 7L > 2x 20L ( VIP Ranch Queue & water pressure ) = Avg 40L
Wetsuit Shower + Rinse > (Avg Eco Surf Tubs) 40L > ( Half Bath Dunk) 100L = Min 45L + Exit 5L
Leggie / Gear Rinse > Eco (Pump Sprayer) 1L > Small Bucket 4L> Leggie Wash / Cap / Booties + Exit = 6L

Repeating...right down to the 4L Leggie Bucket Rinse all is above board bog standard, not high end Waste!

Beachgoer 16.5L / swim (vs) Boardriders 100L / surf (Swanning as the Golfers of the Wave Pool Word).
tbb is not implying boardriders inflatables or assist gear may also need extra water.
NLand Wave Guru simply x 1,000L / day for Waste = 165,000 L/day swimmers (vs) 1mL/day Boardriders
This is strictly the ins'n'outs of keeping tabs of Wave Pool top ups! Nothing tricky here!
Coachella Council are armed with at least half of this Water Waste knowledge & no doubt more again!
Disney (vs) Ranch are world's apart for a Council mad keen on water reduction policy.
One could argue that Wave Pools are outing Surfer's dirty laundry which we see outs them from the Village.

Recyclable full immersible pool affords swimmers to pull back credits for Boardrider's water waste.
tbb is only implying the more & bigger the Pool Toys the more credits you'll need to offset.
Example : Kelly needs Jet Skis but Disney will also need Skis but has open swimmers to offset Water waste.
Whereas Kelly wishes for his closed shop of VIP Water Wasters...he's not offsetting Water or Community!
Again! Council would view Disney as Family (vs) Surfing with the Alien.

All other approved ventures respect community water conservation & welcome equal full Community access!

Coral Mountain venture turns it's back on the Water conscious Community & recreation access.
During climate wars...this is a huge wake up call for leaders of increasingly exposed wasteful surf industry!
Simply about WSL manning up to shape as a sportsmanlike corporate citizen.

frog's picture
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frog Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 7:05am

TBB interesting water loss stats. It all adds up.

sunhil's picture
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sunhil Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 9:08am

Timing is everything.

jedi old mate's picture
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jedi old mate Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 10:18am

Looks so sustainable and environmentally friendly, what a great use of resources. Kelly is truly our champion Environmentalist.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 10:25am

Cheers frog...counting every last drop syndrome was never a Surfer's thing.
Surfers slosh a well watered coastline Surf Safari...but a Desert Wave Pool is Frontline.
Notice how fellow crew led with the Golf Course's completely natural in a desert environment.
Recent [Desert Sun News] pitted the Valley's 54,000 'local' swimming Pools (vs) Disney 24 acre Lagoon

Can share best of both Wave Pool robbing Water Resource from a town to Lagoon Tech that partners a town.
Wave Pools and Evaporation (tbb credits these insightful articles that provide the guts of above research.)
Million Gallons a night is Par for some Golf Courses
How a swimming Pool can Cool a Power Plant

Only that tbb thought it was odd that Surfer's well wasted pool slide manners were absent from Pool data?
Crew know more than tbb how Surfers wastewater can & does both erode & pollute shorelines.
Hard not to slip on the Local Slime Trail regurgitating surf Product & sticker gum to kindly feed pet Dolphins.

In the scope of a Seaside all simply skip over the local Slip'n'slide but in a Wave pool, it's a #1 liability.

Imagine each City Slicker's Desert surf safari demanding & Sloshing 100L of Water to mop up a session?
10 > 20 years ago...maybe but Wave Pools are now outed as #1 Alien Life form invading the Village.
Any village! Even #1 Surf Hang Gold Coast Villagers enlist to fight off recent Robotic Hooting Surfer Invasion.
Exactly! Surfer's Hooting & Beachside manner is both new & confronting to a Frontline of conservative Locals.
Crew & tbb learn that in a desert, any dimming of Moon Glow & loss of a water drop is precious to survival.

Bonus Surfer Waterwise Tips also deserve credit...mostly for being honest.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 11:55am

Would tbb practice Water Saving at the beach...apart from only surfing once in 3 years...possibly!
As a rule 1.25L Bottle was usually enough for a naturally heated Hot shower after a Cold Surf.
Perforated bottle top on a Soft Drink bottle is more than enough to manually direct a shower to suit.
Reckon a Surfing couple could Shower selves / Boards & dunk Wetties in 5L over spill bucket...sorted!
After 4 bottle routine is perfected...this would become a cozy rewarding warm norm after a session.
Solar Powered wetties are fully charged & heated for yer next on!

If sunny but surfing in Cold Weather > Fill & place Bottle on sun drenched front seat or Dash.
If overcast...use hot water from home & wrap bottle in yer beach towel & place it under yer car seat.

Enter beach with nothing & Surf by simply adding nothing to the ocean to absorb every inch of majesty.
Return to shore & simply screw on the Perforated Cap & walk toward a dying patch of vegetation.
Naturally restore the 1.25L you stole from exiting the Ocean by returning equal home brew of 1.25L.
Manual showering affords Surfers to replenish & restore their local hang.
In turn ridding the ever wasteful toxic beach shower turnstyle of increasing erosion & pollution.

The Water is often piping hot on yer body but all around are jealous of steaming hot mobile shower.
Had plenty actually brake in the's nothing mate...really is just nothing but a bottle top!
Walk away restoring equal life to foreshore as there is naturally no otherway to surfjustsurf!

tbb has no outside home taps so still uses same bottle cap for over 10 years for everything outdoors.
However! It is small & can get lost easily, so you'll go spazz & rip the house apart searching for it!

Bottle Top Showers.

simsurf's picture
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simsurf Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 10:44am

Thoughts and prayers for KS and his family

Coaster's picture
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Coaster Monday, 26 Sep 2022 at 8:01pm

Someone once said, “after all is said and done with wavepools, there is a lot more said than done.” Or something like that.

Bustard's picture
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Bustard Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022 at 5:25am

That’s a shame
We could have had 2 pool events on the Dream Tour

John Snow's picture
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John Snow Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022 at 12:18pm

Breakaway tour in a few years. Brazilian Wavepool World tour.....Nothing over 3 ft.....

northeasterly's picture
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northeasterly Wednesday, 28 Sep 2022 at 7:43am

That new pool in São Paulo looks pretty good. Might actually happen.

kookfactor's picture
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kookfactor Monday, 3 Oct 2022 at 11:26am

I do wonder sometimes if the concept could utilize existing body of water? Like some salt lake or sea inlet ...whether this is more or less enviro friendly would be up for debate. But groundwater supply is actually finite in a drying climate under the endless march of humanities progress towards.........not sure which word to insert there.