As we are all aware, the City of Newport Beach recently declared a Stage One Water Shortage. We have been asked to reduce our use by 20 percent and limit watering our yard to two days a week.
That seems a wise and necessary response to the most severe and prolonged drought we have faced in years.
But meanwhile a large development (Banning Ranch) that includes 1,375 houses, one 75 room boutique hotel, and a shopping center is being planned for .
By the City’s own assessment, this project will require 613.6 Acre Feet of water per year. (Newport Banning Ranch EIR Water Supply Assessment. Table 4.1).
That’s 200,000,000 (200 million) gallons of water per year – every year!
How does the City justify approving this and other water-guzzling projects while we are in the midst of one of the most extreme droughts in modern history, according to the State’s Department of Water Resources?
How much more development can be sustained without even more drastic reductions in the use of this very limited resource?