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Bringing the beach to Solano County, with a beautiful beach-like lagoon that uses 25 times less water than an average 18-hole golf course

Tue Jul 02 2024

California is known for being home to some of the most popular and iconic beaches in the country. But we continuously hear from Solano families that they have to trek long distances and sit in traffic jams just to get to the coastal beaches where their kids can cool off and have some fun. Family trips to the beach should be idyllic, relaxing, and fun, not wasted on the road in bumper-to-bumper traffic. 

For many years, there was little anyone could do about this – until Crystal Lagoons® invented and patented a new technology to build beautiful, beach-like crystalline lagoons with sand and turquoise water while using 25 times less water than an average 18-hole golf course in Solano County. 

Today, we could not be more excited to announce that California Forever has signed an agreement with Crystal Lagoons to make Solano County the home of the second such lagoon in California. 

The new Solano Lagoon will be built in the great park in the middle of the new community in East Solano, surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and entertainment. Importantly, while Crystal Lagoons amenities have sometimes been built to be only accessible to residents of the host community, the Solano Lagoon will be a Public Access Lagoons® project, meaning that it will be open to everyone from Solano County. 

We believe that the Solano Lagoon will be an amazing addition to summers in Solano County. Crystal Lagoons technology is known for creating breathtaking, accessible, and sustainable man-made lagoons that offer a beach-like experience wherever they are built. This lagoon is meant for families to spend summer days, gather for birthday parties, participate in water sports, for kids to splash around during the summer (without fear of sharks!), and for everyone to relax in the sun. Visitors will be able to swim in the dedicated swim areas and have access to kayaks and paddleboards – in addition to several other fun-filled water sports activities.

Conceptual rendering of the Solano Lagoon

To date, Crystal Lagoons has more than 275 lagoons built, under development, or in negotiation in 23 states, including Texas, Florida, North and South Carolina, and Arizona. In 2022, Disney brought the first Crystal Lagoons amenity to California, where it is now under construction as the anchor feature for Disney’s new community in Cotino, in southern California. 

Crystal Lagoons is proud to be part of this transformative development that will generate good-paying jobs, affordable homes, sustainable energy, and new entertainment options for Solano County. Our Public Access Lagoons® projects in urban settings are highly valued for bringing a piece of the ocean right to people’s doorsteps. They offer unparalleled entertainment and quality of life while contributing to sustainability, which has earned us recognition all over the country with over 260 projects in various stages of development,” said Benjamín Fischmann, Regional Director of Crystal Lagoons.

Here are some videos and photos of real-life lagoons in various locations. 

Existing lagoon in Solanas, Punta Ballena, Uruguay

Existing lagoon in Solanas, Punta Ballena, Uruguay

Existing lagoon in Southshore Bay, Wimauma, Florida

Existing lagoon in Windsong Ranch, Prosper, Texas

Forming a community working group to inform design and community needs

As with the Solano Sports Complex, we’re forming a community working group to help us solicit input and inform the design of the Solano Lagoon. Among other things, we want the lagoon to feel distinctly Northern Californian while preserving the fun beach vibe and incorporating the best of Solano County. We look forward to collaborating with our working group on that and on making sure the lagoon becomes a beloved part of Solano County and home to so many happy memories of amazing days with our loved ones. The early members of the working group include:

  • Sean Kazemi, father, principal partner at Kaz & Associates Stormwater & Environmental Specialists, and resident of Vacaville 

  • Kim Wright, resident of Dixon 

  • John Wilkerson, father, realtor, and resident of Vacaville 

"As a father and environmental specialist, I recognize the significance of sustainable development, and the new lagoon in Solano County is a prime example," said Sean Kazemi, principal partner at Kaz & Associates and resident of Vacaville. "This lagoon uses cutting-edge technology to minimize water waste, which is vital in our climate. It's not just an incredible amenity for our families to enjoy, it's also a responsible choice for our environment, making it a win-win for all residents."

"I've been living in Solano County with my family for years, and I'm thrilled about the prospect of a new Solano Lagoon right here—it's like bringing the beach to our doorstep," said Kim Wright, a resident of Dixon. "This means we can enjoy beach days without the long drive, making it so much easier to spend quality time together. It’s a fantastic way to build lasting memories and strengthen our community."

"As a local realtor and father, I'm excited about the introduction of the Solano lagoon here in Solano County," commented John Wilkerson. "Anyone who knows my family, knows we love the beach and water activities. I can’t wait to watch my kids play at the lagoon. I love that this helps the majority of Solano residents – who don’t own a pool – to have access to a beautiful lagoon nearby. It will create a sustainable, fun space for families to enjoy. I can’t wait to have breakfast at home and then be on the beach 30 minutes later."

We will be adding more members to the group after consulting with community leaders, elected officials, and residents on who would best represent their respective communities. The working group will be facilitated by our landscape designers CMG, who are designing the parks and open spaces for the East Solano Plan, and who have previously designed iconic spaces such as the San Francisco-based redevelopments of Treasure Island, Hunters Point, and Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground.

Later this summer, we will also take the working group on a tour of some of the existing Crystal Lagoons amenities that have already been built elsewhere. If you’re interested in joining the Solano Lagoon working group or have ideas you would like to share, please send an email to

Supporting water efficiency and environmental sustainability by using 25 times less water than an 18-hole golf course  

One of the most amazing design features of the Crystal Lagoons system is its sustainability and environmental performance, including using a special molecular film technology that can reduce water evaporation by up to 50%.

The lagoon shown in our rendering, which is about 7 acres and enough to accommodate thousands of people, would use about 20 acre-feet of water per year. That’s 25 times less than an average 18-hole golf course in Solano County, which uses about 493 acre-feet of water per year. Please see FAQ below for details.

The 20 acre-feet per year used by the Crystal Lagoons amenity is also only a small fraction — about 0.15% — of the 13,700 acre-feet of water that we have already secured for use by the East Solano Plan, and an even tinier fraction compared to the water supply at full build out. The lagoon can also use any type of water—salt, fresh, or brackish. The water will be part of the overall water needs of the East Solano Plan and, therefore, subject to the Water Guarantee in the East Solano Homes, Jobs, and Clean Energy Initiative. Learn more about our water supply plan and the Water Guarantee here

The lagoons also require up to 100 times fewer chemicals than traditional swimming pools or drinking water treatment systems. 

Finally, we are currently exploring innovative ways to use excess heat from cooling operations in the new community’s district thermal systems to heat the water and extend the lagoon's use during the shoulder season. By reducing the need for Solano residents to travel far for coastal recreation, we also reduce the carbon footprint.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Crystal Lagoons amenity?

The Crystal Lagoons amenity (Solano Lagoon) is a lagoon open to the public that will offer a variety of recreational activities, from swimming and water sports to relaxation areas, providing a beach-like experience in Solano County.

Who can use the lagoon?

The Solano Lagoon will be a Public Access Lagoon, i.e. open to everyone and available to all Solano County residents, not just those in new communities. Entrance fees will apply, and will be comparable to other Crystal Lagoon amenities that currently operate across America.

Would these plans continue if the East Solano Plan is not approved in November?

Building the Solano Lagoon is expensive and would require tens of millions of dollars of investments. These investments can only be made and funded as part of a larger development that includes other sources of revenue. Therefore, the Solano Lagoon would only be built as part of the East Solano Plan.

How many visitors can the lagoon hold?

The Solano Lagoon will be sized to accommodate at least 5,000 visitors every day.

How can I get involved in the planning process?

We are forming a community working group. If you are interested in participating, please email us at

How did you compute the water use compared to a golf course?

Our team of water experts from EKI Environment & Water performed an analysis of water consumption for the proposed Solano Lagoon and compared it to typical water use by golf courses in Solano County. 

With the assumption of a 7-acre lagoon as depicted in the rendering, they developed an estimate of water consumption based on the methodology outlined in the State’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO), with allowance for special landscaped areas consistent with a swimming pool. This resulted in a demand estimate of 19.8 acre-feet per year, as rounded up to 20 acre-feet per year in the blog post above. These 20 acre-feet per year are the annual “consumption” of water by the lagoon, i.e. the net water that evaporates or is otherwise “used”. This is also roughly the amount of water in the lagoon at any one time.

The average size of a golf course in Solano County is ~127 acres, with an estimated total water demand of 493 acre-feet per year. This is consistent with various sources online, including the California Alliance For Golf, which lists an average golf course size of 110 to 115 acres, and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, which lists a median golf course size of 150 acres in 2015. 

Based on this average demand of 493 acre-feet per year for Solano County golf courses and the estimated demand of the Solano Lagoon of approximately 20 acre-feet per year, the Solano Lagoon would have a demand that is approximately 25 times lower than a golf course. 

How many golf courses are there in Solano County? 

There are 11 golf courses in Solano County. The Solano Lagoon will use 25 times less water than one average 18 hole golf course. 

Has this been approved elsewhere in California?

Yes. The other planned Crystal Lagoons development in California, which is part of the planned Cotino Community in Coachella Valley, included the crystalline lagoon demand in the Water Supply Assessment/Water Supply Verification (WSA/WSV) as part of its approved Specific Plan Environmental Impact Report. WSA/WSV are the same state-mandated process that the Water Guarantee of the East Solano Plan requires us to go through before commencing construction.

The Cotino Community WSA/WSV, which has already been submitted to and approved by the Coachella Valley Water District, also used the State’s MWELO methodology to estimate annual water use to maintain the lagoon, considering local evaporative losses. The Cotino Community WSA/WSV used the non-residential landscaped area water use factor within the MWELO formula to estimate the lagoon’s annual water use, resulting in a demand factor of about 3.1 acre-feet per year per acre. This demand factor is consistent to the demand factor used to estimate the potential demand of the Solano Lagoon planned as part of the East Solano Plan, which is 2.8 acre-feet per year per acre. Solano's number is slightly lower because Solano's summers are less hot and less dry than those in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.

Where will the water for the lagoon come from?

The water will come from the same sources as all other potable water used in the new community (i.e., we will not use recycled water for the Solano Lagoon). To learn more, please read our recently announced initial water plan. The water will be responsibly sourced and provided by us, ensuring it does not impact residents' drinking water.

Are there any planned events or activities?

Yes, starting with the grand opening of the Solano Lagoon. Stay tuned!

Can local businesses get involved?

Yes, we encourage local businesses to get involved. Opportunities for partnerships, sponsorships, and vendor spaces to operate restaurants on the beach will be available. Please contact us at for more information.

Are there other Crystal Lagoons amenities? If so, will the one in Solano look the same?

Yes, there are many others. Check out some examples here. While it will share the sustainable design features of others, it will be tailored to fit into the Solano landscape and reflect the character of the region.