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July 31, 2014

Looking For Hot Water?

This LA.Curbed article about mapping all of Los Angeles County's 3,000 active oil wells caught my attention. It seems that some of our tax dollars have gone to create this very interesting, interactive map of "Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources" in California. When you you start there with a full-California view the large oil fields will be obvious as they are simply black with stars; a star indicates "Notice & Permit"...of an oil or gas well, we must assume.

Sometimes when I go to this page the map refuses to interact until I try some sort of search in the search fields. So, if clicking or dragging on the map gets no reaction for you, just search for something - anything, and that will wake up the map and you can drag and zoom all you want.

Many of the markers do not become visible until you drill down to a certain level of resolution, so keep zooming in and see what appears. I started out, as the LA.Curbed article suggested, looking at the oil & gas resources in Los Angeles County. Go look at the wall of oil wells that separates downtown from Dodger Stadium, or the area north of Wilshire, south of Santa Monica. Those poor people must have crude oil coming up in their bathtubs. In fact, it becomes obvious that the entire premise of The Beverly Hillbillies was backwards. Discovering oil in Kentucky (or wherever it was) and moving to Beverly Hills?! It would have been much more believable to discover oil in Beverly Hills and then move to Kentucky to get away from the big city.

After browsing L.A. for a bit, I began to scroll eastwards to see where the oil drilling finally stopped. I scrolled and scrolled and the map icons became fewer and fewer until suddenly a big wad popped up in the desert. Zooming in another couple of layers revealed this:
Hot Water Wells in the area of Desert Hot Springs
Some of the hot water wells in the Desert Hot Springs area
. The triangular icons stand for "Geothermal." Naturally at first I was impressed at the size of the secret geothermal industry in our area, but then I realized they don't distinguish between geothermal power generation (scroll down and look at Imperial Valley!) and 120° geothermal mineral water to heal your body. Geologists in Sacramento do not think the same way hoteliers in Desert Hot Springs think.

It will be obvious to the informed local resident that not all the hot water wells are shown, but I have not found information on the site to tell me why that might be. I do see that they don't have the current boundaries for the City of DHS, so maybe all their data is old.

While you have DHS on display, zoom out enough to see the whole Coachella Valley. Somebody in DHS (hoteliers? chamber?) should print that map out, mount it, and get it displayed at the Palm Springs Visitor Center with a legend under it something like "Looking for hot mineral spring water?"

Filed under California,Coachella Valley,Desert Hot Springs,Science | permalink | July 31, 2014 at 10:38 AM


The map doesn't lie. To find a place to stay with hot water in DHS you should go to the Hoteliers' website at visitdeserthotsprings.com

Posted by: Ron's Log at Aug 1, 2014 6:09:59 PM

Is Desert Hot Springs the only place to find hot mineral water in the Coachella Valley? My wife and I are looking for a good place. I saw your website in our search. Hope you can help. We just stopped on our way and decided to look at your town. It looks nice. Can you make a recommendation and a hot mineral water hotel either in Desert Hot Springs or somewhere in the Coachella Valley. Thank you.

Posted by: Alley at Aug 1, 2014 2:30:57 PM

There are some missing wells and some mis-located on the map. The hoteliers have a map with all the hot water spas w/ wells listed. The chamber has these to give to the public.

Posted by: Jeff at Aug 1, 2014 7:57:03 AM

Very interesting. I wonder how accurate the positioning is, and how to get more data on the individual wells. There appears to be two very close to me, and neither of them appears to be located at Living Waters, who I am sure has a well. Any ideas?

Posted by: CharlieE at Jul 31, 2014 4:56:09 PM

The only direct links I have are in what I posted.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Jul 31, 2014 2:13:09 PM

If you will provide me the direct link I'll get the map printed and hung. Good catch on your part.

Posted by: Russell Betts at Jul 31, 2014 1:45:46 PM

I see one plugged, one "active producer," two dry holes and one new near Whitewater. The plugged one is identified as belonging to the Painted Hills Oil Association. I can't find much about them, but they are mentioned on page 19 of the August 1922 issue of Petroleum Age.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Jul 31, 2014 1:36:57 PM

Notice the two capped wells near Whitewater. Prospects?

Posted by: Eric at Jul 31, 2014 11:36:05 AM

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