San Bernardino County supervisors this week approved an additional $500,000 for Downey Brand, a Sacramento-based firm hired to fight Cadiz-related lawsuits by several environmental and conservation groups, a labor union and a salt mining operation, according to the Press-Enterprise.
A long-promoted plan to pipe water from one of the driest parts of the Mojave Desert to irrigate Southern California’s cities continues to find new critics, who are slamming the project on environmental grounds. The Cadiz Valley Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project, which in its first phase would drill wells into the desert near Cadiz Dry Lake and pump groundwater into the Colorado River Aqueduct at a cost of $240 million, continues to take heat over its claims that it can pull 50,000 acre-feet of water out of the desert each year without damaging the Mojave Desert’s ecosystem. But an increasing number of people aren’t buying it, according to KCET.
Critics question whether the Southland, infamous for slaking its thirst with water from the Owens Valley and elsewhere, should now draw new supplies from pristine desert watersheds. “It’s taking a public resource that originates on public land, privatizing it and selling it back to the public,” said Seth Shteir of the National Parks Conservation Assn., one of a dozen environmental groups challenging the project. “This water is going to Orange County lawns and swimming pools. The desert is being asked to shoulder the burden,” according to Wilderutopia.
The plan is being pushed by Cadiz, Inc., a landowner in the Cadiz Valley and the adjacent Fenner Valley for three decades. Cadiz is working with the Santa Margarita Water District, an Orange County water district serving Rancho Santa Margarita and other towns in the Trabuco Canyon area, to push the project through administrative channels.The two are joined by Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Golden State Water Company, Jurupa Community Services District and Suburban Water Systems, all of which serve communities in eastern Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. Cadiz would sell water to these service districts at a rate varying from 300-500 dollars per acre-foot.
Aha! This is why Roger Faubel pushed so hard for his pal Justin McCusker to replace him on the SMWD’s Board of Directors. The fix is in folks. These crazy people want to suck public water out of the desert and charge us millions of dollars for it – with NO plan to replace the water in the natural aquifers that they will surely ruin – for what? To fill pools and water lawns in wealthy south Orange County. What a joke – but the joke is on us if we let this crazy scheme succeed!
The reality is that we should not be building any more huge housing developments in Southern California. We don’t have the water or energy to sustain these homes nor the freeways and roads that will be needed. But the developers spend millions paying off the OC politicians and the results will be a ruined Southern California. Take heed – these awful greedy people must be stopped!
Even if Cadiz’s theoretical hydrology turns out to be true with regard to how much evaporated water they’d be salvaging, however, the project is not sustainable. Cadiz admits that even using their own improbably optimistic figures for both recoverable evaporated water and aquifer recharge, the Cadiz and Fenner Valleys will take 30 years to recover after the 50-year life of the project comes to an end. And their figures are optimistic. (To put it mildly. An optimist says the glass is half full: Cadiz is telling us the glass contains several times as much water as the glass could physically hold.) And if Cadiz’s figures aren’t right, their project could cause irreversible damage to the desert, drying up those seeps and springs, sucking saline water into the aquifer, and causing the land to subside the way it has where aquifers were overdrafted in the San Joaquin Valley. (KCET)
- Cadiz Water is an alliance of groups and individuals opposed to Cadiz, Inc.’s plans to remove vast amounts of critical ground water from California’s Mojave Desert. See: http://CadizWater.com/. Like Cadiz Water on Facebook here,
- Extreme Water: Tapping the California Desert to Feed Growth Addiction?
- What the Cadiz Water Plan is and Why it Needs to be Stopped
- THE CADIZ WATER PROJECT: MOJAVE WATER GRAB DÉJÀ VU
- SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY: Cadiz water project legal fees climbing