Coachella Valley Water District and Desert Water Agency are advising residents to stay away from the fast-flowing and dangerous water in the Whitewater River channel near Windy Point.
Water District leaders say the flow rate in the channel this summer will range from a trickle to 600 cubic feet per second, which is approximately the equivalent of 600 basketballs moving past a given point every second. When flows are high and fast, they can be deceptive and present a real and serious danger. This flow can easily sweep a person off of their feet.
The say the Whitewater River exists because of snowmelt from Mt. San Gorgonio. However, much of the water that is currently visible from the I-10 is imported water from the Colorado River Aqueduct flowing to the CVWD and DWA groundwater replenishment ponds near Windy Point.
Because of the danger, the two water agencies are warning residents of all ages to stay away from the flowing water in the Whitewater River Channel on either side of Interstate 10. No trespassing signs are posted in these areas.
However, there is a safe alternative for residents. Families can enjoy the Whitewater River at the Whitewater Preserve, about 5 miles north of I-10 on Whitewater Canyon Road. The facility maintains a wading pond and section of slower running water from Mt. San Gorgonio’s pure snowmelt. This is a safe place to cool down and enjoy the natural beauty of the preserve. Call the preserve at (760) 325-7222 for hours of operation.