Developers plan massive water park in Arizona desert

Tuesday, 20 November 2007
The Union-Tribune in San Diego is reporting that developers are planning to build a massive water park in the Arizona desert. It would offer surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and whitewater kayaking.

Though no local groups are opposed to the plan as of yet, some people are concerned of the huge amount of water that the project will need. To get started, they will need 50 million gallons of water to fill all the pools and another 60-100 million each year to keep evaporation at bay.

According to some reports, the project will use about the same amount of water as many of the local golf courses. Organizers also don't intend to tap into the local communities drinking water but instead use water from a well that is currently unsafe to drink due to elevated levels of arsenic. They are going to build a plant to treat the water and make it safe for swimmers.

"It's about delivering a sport that's not typically available in an urban environment," said Richard Mladick, a Mesa real-estate developer who persuaded business leaders in suburban Mesa to support the proposal called the Waveyard.

Artists' drawings of the park show surfers gliding through waves that crash onto a sandy beach and kayakers navigating the whitecaps of a wide, roiling river. Families watch the action from beneath picnic umbrellas. If constructed, the park would use as much as 100 million gallons of groundwater a year.

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David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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