The businessmen behind Waveyard say they plan to recreate the seascape of Indonesia or Hawaii in an area that has just eight inches of rainfall a year. They have earmarked a site about 15 miles outside Phoenix on 125 acres of land that normally supports nothing but saguaro cacti and creosote bushes and that is 200 miles from the nearest beach.
To relocate nature's environment into the city will require an initial 189m litres of water to fill the facilities, and then up to 380m litres a year to replenish them allowing for spillage and evaporation.
Residents in the nearest town of Mesa voted earlier this month by two to one to support the project, won over by promises of 7,500 new jobs. Opposition to the proposals in the area has been muted.
Rita Maguire, a water expert who has advised Waveyard on water supplies for the development, told Associated Press that she had come round to the idea. "Initially, the reaction is: 'Oh my. Is this an appropriate use of water in a desert'? But recreation is a very important part of a community."
She added that the project would not use more water than a golf course, which sounds reassuring, until you learn that the Arizonan desert is already pockmarked with 402 golf courses.