So much for being eco-friendly: Desert solar projects in Southern California are draining water reserves of local communities
By Kevin Hughes // Jul 13, 2023

The vast solar development projects in Southern California have constrained local water availability and threatened desert ecosystems.

The water-intensive development method for massive solar projects has brought about the fall of groundwater levels, which has impacted the small communities near Desert Center, California, that rely on the naturally occurring underground water reserves or groundwater aquifers. (Related: IRONY: "Green" solar energy creating massive landfill waste problem in California.)

Critical local water wells have dried up and land underneath homes has slumped due to the development activity aside from harming the desert ecosystems.

Residents complained that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the corporations driving the developments in California's Colorado Desert have not permitted them to give enough input in the decision-making action for the developments.

Solar projects do more harm than good

The people said they have not reaped benefits from the solar projects while the stress on their groundwater supply has increased in spite of the bureau's promises that "renewable energy development on BLM-managed public lands will continue to help communities across the country be part of the climate solution while creating jobs and boosting local economies."

Developers depend on the groundwater aquifer because there is no other possible water supply in the region, rendering delivery of water from other areas to the development sites extremely costly.

The development has drained the water reserves for local communities such as one trailer park, which a property manager said would be "dead without water" if the local shortage continues to get worse.

The cost of drilling new, deeper water wells can reach up to $100,000.

The BLM has authorized seven utility-scale developments in the area stretching about 19,000 acres already, with more projects under consideration like the 120,000 acres that are available for development in the area surrounding Desert Center.

The sacred indigenous sites, ironwood trees and endangered desert tortoises are now vanishing and replaced by solar panels scattered around the local communities.

But the people of Desert Center and Lake Tamarisk are starting to push back.

After being shut out of conversations about earlier solar development close to their homes, they are determined to be heard as two new solar projects are proposed in the area.

"No one took into consideration a community lived out here," said Teresa Pierce, a resident of Lake Tamarisk. While they aren't completely against solar, Pierce said: "We're against it being so close to our community and stealing our water out from our aquifer."

Intersect Power, the company behind Oberon and another proposed utility-scale solar project in the region, said in a statement that it had been informed of the problem and was looking into it.

Worries over the effect of solar project development on the local aquifer have long existed. According to Noel Ludwig, a hydrologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado, all the studies on the basin agreed that groundwater was being pumped out at near or above the rate at which the basin can replenish the supply.

"It's just something that's a groundwater issue – not just in that basin, but around the country and around the world. They've been treating it like a bottomless bank account, without accounting for the long-term and certain implications on people's wells," Ludwig said.

Follow GreenDeal.news for more news about solar energy projects and other renewable energy sources.

Watch the video below to know more about solar power installation.

This video is from the PatchSDA channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Solar panels much more wasteful and toxic than widely believed, warns environmental policy expert.

Water infrastructure authorities declare a DROUGHT EMERGENCY in Southern California.

California’s “impossible” electric truck mandate could put logistics companies completely out of business.

Sources include:

WattsUpWithThat.com

InsideClimateNews.org

Brighteon.com



Take Action:
Support NewsTarget by linking to this article from your website.
Permalink to this article:
Copy
Embed article link:
Copy
Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use is permitted with credit to NewsTarget.com (including a clickable link).
Please contact us for more information.
Free Email Alerts
Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.

NewsTarget.com © 2022 All Rights Reserved. All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. NewsTarget.com is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. NewsTarget.com assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published on this site. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

This site uses cookies
News Target uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy.
Learn More
Close
Get 100% real, uncensored news delivered straight to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email privacy is completely protected.