(Coachella Valley, CA) Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) and Desert Water Agency (DWA) are reminding residents and visitors to avoid entering the Whitewater River channel and area canals.
Both areas pose extreme danger, which is why it is unlawful to enter them. At the Whitewater River area near Windy Point on either side of Interstate 10, the flow rate has the capacity to reach 720 cubic feet per second, which is similar to 720 basketballs moving past a given point every second. There is a danger to anyone that enters the water and to small children who could fall into the river while playing along its banks north of Palm Springs. Similarly, the Coachella Canal that brings Colorado River water to the valley is extremely dangerous and should not be entered.
Trespassers risk prosecution, which could lead to fines and jail time.
CVWD and DWA instead urge residents and visitors to cool off in these high temperatures with some safe alternatives.
The Whitewater Preserve, about 5 miles north of I-10 on Whitewater Canyon Road is an area for people to legally and safely enjoy the water. The facility maintains a wading pond and there is section of the river with slower moving water from the nearby mountain's pure snowmelt in which people can swim. This is a safe place to cool down and enjoy the natural beauty of the preserve. Current hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, call the preserve at (760) 325-7222. The 2,851-acre preserve is owned and operated by the nonprofit Wildlands Conservancy. All activities are free, but donations are accepted.
Another place to enjoy water play is the Palm Desert Aquatic Center, which is located within the Palm Desert Civic Center Park. Facilities include three pools, multiple slides, diving boards and a variety of water-related play features. Call 760-565-7467 for additional information. The city and YMCA operate the facility and charge admission fees.
There also are public pools in Palm Springs and Indio. The Palm Springs Swim Center is located at 405 S. Pavilion Way. It is open daily but hours vary depending on the day of the week. Call 760-323-8278 for more information. Pawley Pool is located at 46350 Jackson Street. Hours also vary depending on the day of the week. Call 760-342-5665 for more information.
Coachella Valley Water District is a public, non-profit agency serving domestic water, irrigation water, wastewater collection and reclamation services, regional stormwater protection and groundwater replenishment over a 1,000-square-mile area, including parts of Cathedral City to the Salton Sea communities. CVWD is a State Water Contractor and operates the 123-mile Coachella Canal to import Colorado River water to the region. An elected five-member board sets policy and represents the ratepayers. For more information, please visit www.cvwd.org.
Desert Water Agency is a public, non-profit agency and a State Water Contractor, serving a 325-square-mile area, including parts of Cathedral City, outlying county areas, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs. An elected five-member board sets policy and represents the ratepayers. For more information, please visit www.dwa.org.