As California Water Wells Run Dry, Kelly Slater Builds 65 Million Gallon "Perfect Wave" Tank

Back in December 2015, international surfing phenom Kelly Slater set the internet abuzz when he released video footage of himself surfing what he called the "perfect" man made wave. Slater made headlines again in May 2016 when he announced the sale of a majority stake in his Kelly Slater Wave Company to the World Surf League, an organization that hosts surfing competitions around the globe (terms of the sale were not disclosed). We have to admit, it's pretty awesome, dude. 

A surfer riding a wave at the Kelly Slater Wave Company site in Lemoore, Calif.


Turns out that the perfect man made wave happens to be located in the middle of California's Central Valley, over 100 miles from the coast.  For those of you not familiar with the Central Valley, it's an agricultural oasis in the middle of California that produces a large percentage of the fruits and vegetables consumed in this country (see our post entitled "California Is Turning Back Into A Desert And There Are No Contingency Plans"). The problem, as we've pointed out multiple times on this site, is that California's historic drought has forced farmers in the Central Valley to fallow over 500,000 acres in recent years due to a lack of water.  In fact, as can be seen in the charts below, state and federal water allocations to farmers in recent years have been all but non-existent.  That said, farmers aren't the only ones making sacrifices, water wells are running dry for rural homeowners in the Central Valley and Jerry Brown imposed the State's first ever mandatory water restrictions on residential consumers back in 2015.




For those reasons and so many more, we were a little surprised to discover that Kelly Slater's "perfect wave" found its home in the Central Valley of California.  We just have to question the logic of state/county officials who approved a 65 million gallon (give or take a few million) man-made wave pool in the middle of farmland fallowed due a lack of water.  Are we missing something here?  So farmers can't get water deliveries due to environmental restrictions imposed to save an invasive fish species (see "California Drought Worsens – El Nino 'Gains' Flushed Into The Pacific As Water Storage Runs Dry") but a surfer can build a giant "perfect wave" for private use by himself and couple of buddies? 

But hey, at least the water situation is getting better.



Oh well, just enjoy the video and forget we said anything.