Apr 05, 2005

Golf is the Best Use for Storm Channel

Floods that washed out a number of golf course courses in California’s Coachella Valley Water District this winter won't deter builders of the proposed Desert Cove golf course in Cathedral City.
The CVWD recently approved conceptual plans for the proposed course that builders will put in two washes near downtown.
The recent rains prompted CVWD to take another look at plans for Desert Cove to make sure it would not hinder the flood channeling ability of the Whitewater River storm channel.
Georgia Celehar, principal stormwater engineer for CVWD, said the idea is to make sure the course won't make the channel overflow in the event of a flood.
"If they put a lot of different types of holes in there with raised land it changes the way the water will flow and probably raise the water level," Celehar said.
But that doesn't appear to be a concern with Desert Cove.
The CVWD board approved the conceptual design based on, "basic hydrological computer modeling," Celehar said.
Cathedral City city manager Don Bradley said improvements related to the course could improve flood control.
The golf course is proposed for two perpendicular washes in the area of E. Palm Canyon Drive and Date Palm Drive.
The washes are natural channels where storm water runoff collects and is carried through the valley.
Recent rains acted as a reminder of the intense flooding that can occur in washes.
The flood channels at times this winter swelled as high as they had been in about a decade.
The Cimarron, Mesquite, Tahquitz Creek, Cathedral Canyon, The Vintage Club and other golf courses were damaged and lost days of play due to the storms.
The floods in January pushed as much as 6,000 cubic feet of water per second through the channel. That's just a fraction of the 80,000 cubic feet per second it is designed to handle, according to CVWD.
Bradley said the washes are a good place for golf courses because the potential for flooding makes them off-limits for structures.
"Golf is the best use," he said.