The Newport Banning Ranch project’s application was recently certified, raising questions about omissions in the application, some of which directly affect water supply . . . Where is the water coming from?
A growing concern is the depletion of our groundwater around the country and the world. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, our global groundwater levels are now at historic lows.
This raises the question of whether the water supply for the Newport Banning Ranch Project is consistent with the groundwater protections of the Coastal Act. Section 30231 of the Coastal Act requires preventing the depletion of groundwater. The Santa Ana basin has already been depleted by 60%. How much more are we going to take? How much more can we take before we risk a disaster like saltwater intrusion that could destroy the entire supply?
On May 12, the City voted to declare a Level Three Water Shortage, which comes with mandatory 25% water restrictions that could trigger fines and penalties. How much more will we have to cut to accommodate a project like Newport Banning Ranch? And all the other projects that are going up?
The Newport Banning Ranch development is a massive project that’s going to take hundreds of millions of gallons of water every year. We’re in the throes of record drought with predictions of more to come. NASA estimates that it will take 11 trillion gallons of water just to recover what we’ve lost since 2011. Read more . . .
Please join us as we work to ensure that our depleted groundwater sources are not being exploited, but instead are being protected and wisely used, as required by the Coastal Act. Sign our letter to the Coastal Commission here.
Also of interest:
- Watch Banning Ranch Conservancy Vice-Chair Suzanne Forster explain how residential and commercial development of the Banning Ranch will require unprecedented amounts of water, and why the California Coastal Commission should carefully consider the impact of developing the ranch.
- Watch Bolsa Chica Land Trust Director Kim Kolpin explain why the Coastal Commission should save Banning Ranch from development and preserve the endangered species and critical habitat in Orange County’s last remaining coastal open space.