BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT INCLUDE:
- A new reliable and sustainable water supply for southern California communities. The Water Project will create a new water supply for 400,000 people across the region. Water providers from six Southern California counties have reserved water supplies from the Project, which is a new local source that will reduce our reliance on imports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Colorado River, and augment supplies depleted by drought.
- $878 Million economic impact and creation of good paying jobs. Inland Empire economist, Dr. John Husing has estimated that construction of Phase 1 of the Project will contribute $878 million to the San Bernardino County economy and create nearly 3,000 jobs. The Water Project has pledged to spend 80% of its infrastructure costs on local businesses and has dedicated a majority of jobs to local residents and unions, including 10% of jobs reserved for veterans.
- Conservation of 500 billion gallons of fresh water over the 50 year life of the Water Project; water that would have been lost to evaporation or salt contamination without the Project.
- Improvement of local water quality. The native groundwater at Cadiz is very low in total dissolved solids or TDS, which is the measurement of salinity or the concentration of salts and minerals (such as sodium, calcium and chloride) within a water supply. High salinity is known to cause deterioration of residential, commercial, and industrial appliances, pipe infrastructure and fixtures and requires treatment. The Colorado River Aqueduct (CRA), which is one of the main sources of water supply for Southern California, is known to contain high TDS levels and water from the CRA must be treated before it can be delivered to homes and businesses. Engineering firm CH2M Hill estimates that introducing Cadiz water into the CRA will realize nearly $400 million in savings to regional ratepayers over the 50-year life of the Project.
- Protection of desert ecology and habitats. The Water Project’s facilities will be built entirely on privately owned land and the pipeline will be constructed alongside active railroad tracks, causing no impacts to public desert lands. In addition, the Project will have no impacts on plants, animals, or mountain springs in the area, with operations governed by an extensive groundwater management plan enforced by the County of San Bernardino.
- Reduced carbon footprint and lower energy costs for southern California. As a southern California based, local water supply, it can be transported shorter distances at lower cost compared to water imported from Northern California or Lake Mead.
- Improved transportation and rail safety. The Project will provide water to the local Arizona & California Railroad for critical railroad purposes such as fire suppression, and generate power via in-line hydropower turbines enabling transloading opportunities for regional train and truck cargo and new access to power in the region. The Project will also improve the railroad’s access to highways via a new pipeline access road, which is expected to shorten crew change times and travel times in case of emergency.
- Additional groundwater storage capacity in Southern California. Potentially, water could be imported from the Colorado River Aqueduct or State Water Project and banked in the aquifer, taking advantage of the facilities built on private land. Storage of imported water in phase 2 of the project will offer new savings opportunities for surplus water in wet years, providing dry-year reliability, and protection from evaporative losses.