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Yucca Valley Golf Course Owner Ignores Drought to Fill Lake

By   /   March 7, 2014  /   3 Comments

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Blue Skies Country Club Lake

Golf Club Lake filled at height of severe drought-2014

Yucca Valley, Ca.,- I am patiently waiting for the Hi Desert Star (Brehm Communications) to publish my Soap Box addressing their golf course filling up the large lake at the height of this severe drought and the subsequent short letter to explain why my Soap Box letter is being delayed.  In the meantime, I will use this waiting period to post a few comments from others that are saying exactly what I wrote about, however, their comments are not being censored. True, the Publisher is Cindy (Brehm) Melland who is probably “sitting” on my 600 word Soap Box because her family owns the very golf course that I am offering up “my opinion.”See Branson’s post> The Larger Picture, Censorship in the Morongo Basin

I have since submitted a second Letter to the Editor, 287 words, while waiting for my Soap Box to be “approved.” This short one is titled, “Not All Letters to the Editor are Created Equal” where I describe required documentation by the newspaper to back up “my opinions.”

With the permission of the persons making comments, I will place them here in this post.  The other published Letter to the Editor is: “Golf Courses don’t belong in the desert.”

Question:“In fact, if the golf course doesn’t directly affect your personal water supply, quality, or cost, then, with all due respect, what concern is it of yours?”

Reply: If the “new Hawks Landing” golf course only pays $15 per acre foot of water it uses out of an aquifer shared with the HDWD ratepayers, it’s every HDWD ratepayer’s business and concern. The HDWD has to replace that water (When it can?) at $430-$480 per acre foot.

All HDWD ratepayers costs are going to go up to subsidize the golf course. There’s also that Town of Yucca Valley’s WholeSale Discount Water Rate Deal bought for $400,000 about two years ago that will also be subsidized by the HDWD ratepayers. 2016 is two years away (deadline for actual working sewer system) and there’s no water coming down the line in the near future.

Question: The owner of the golf course repaired 2 of 3 wells on the golf property and has the right to use the water from those wells to maintain the golf course, so what’s your concern?

Reply: We are getting lectures on “history” and “traditional ethics of golf”. I prefer to mention the name of the LTE ” Golf courses don’t belong in the desert “. I agree with that statement. Golf Courses in a desert are unsustainable. Most all the desert water used has been from groundwater aquifers that have been over-drafted (both high and low desert).

When Blue Skies Golf Course came to existence, Yucca Valley didn’t concern itself with sustainable water supplies. Going into the 1990′s, the golf course was using 330-350 acre feet of water annually. Yucca Valley had a population of about 16,000 back then and needed “imported water” to sustain it’s residents use. Yucca Valley has grown by about 5,000 to a current population of 21,000. On average, an increase of 5,000 people is about two thousand households. 2,000 households use about 660-700 acre feet of water a year in Yucca Valley.

The “new” golf course will be less thirsty, but it will be thirsty. If it only uses 200 acre feet annually (highly unlikely, most likely more) then HDWD will be having to spend at least $100,000 replacing the water removed from the shared Warren Basin aquifer.

Yucca Valley currently uses 3,100 acre feet of water annually. The “import” of water is another question. If you try and go to HDWD’s website and try the “water use data” link, it’s corrupted and non-usable ( www.hdwd.com “about us” -7 down) right now.

If you’ve been keeping topical-we’re in a drought and the Sacramento Delta-State Water Project has stated NO water is coming through the delivery system for at least the next year (possibly more). Four soccer fields, baseball fields, grassed dog park, acres and acres of lawn and golf courses in the Mojave desert?







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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell


  1. Outstanding story. Well documents and written. One of the largest scandals and blunders in the Basin history. The magnitude of this will be impacted for years upon ratepayers.

    Owens Valley + Yucca Valley water grabs = self-serving, corrupted
    and discreditable action.

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