Hopping Into Whitewater River: Death By A Thousand (Or So) Basketballs

Officials with two Coachella Valley water agencies Tuesday warned the public it is illegal and dangerous to swim in the Whitewater River, with the flow rate being equivalent to being hit by 720 basketballs every second.

“At the Whitewater River area near Windy Point on either side of Interstate 10, the flow rate has the capacity to reach 720 cubic feet per second, which is similar to 720 basketballs moving past a given point every second,” according to a statement from the Coachella Valley Water District and Desert Water Agency.

The extreme danger of entering the river and area canals — especially the Coachella Canal, which brings water from the Colorado River to the valley — could be life-threatening, authorities said.

Trespassers also risk fines and jail time, Coachella Valley Water District officials said.

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