A Sustainable New Water Source for Southern California
Located approximately 80 miles east of Barstow, California, the Cadiz Water Project is an innovative public-private partnership among Southern California water agencies and desert agriculture business Cadiz Inc. that will create a new water supply that can serve up to 400,000 people a year. In addition to conserving groundwater that is currently being lost to evaporation, the Project will also create new underground storage capacity that will improve water reliability during times of drought.
The Project will be governed by a comprehensive, Court-approved groundwater management plan enforced by San Bernardino County that will continually monitor groundwater levels throughout the project’s lifespan and promptly order adjustments to reverse any negative impacts that are detected. The Project has already successfully completed a robust review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the most aggressive environmental protection law in the nation, and has been found to be safe for the environment.
In particular, the project will:
- Create a new reliable and sustainable water supply for Southern California. After years of drought and given ongoing uncertainty about California’s ability to continue importing current volumes of water from the Colorado River and Northern California, supporting this new, sustainable water supply for 400,000 people ensures that families, businesses and communities can have access to safe, affordable water that is managed locally.
- Save ratepayers $400 million and improve local water quality. Because the water from Cadiz is far less salty than water currently flowing through the Colorado River Aqueduct, Cadiz water can help reduce local water providers’ treatment costs. Currently, local agencies spend millions of dollars every year to remove salts from our water so it doesn’t damage pipes, faucets and sewer lines. Reducing the salinity in the Colorado River Aqueduct and improving local water quality is expected to create nearly $400 million in savings for local water ratepayers over the 50-year life of the Project.
- Inject $878 million into the local economy and create nearly 6,000 good-paying jobs. The Cadiz Water Project has pledged to spend 80 percent of its infrastructure costs on local businesses and has dedicated a majority of jobs to local residents and unions, including 10 percent of jobs reserved for veterans. Over the long term, the Project is expected to contribute $6 million every year to the San Bernardino County budget, including $600,000 for Needles Unified School District.
- Protect the desert environment. Independent experts, public agency decisions and 12 California court opinions have reviewed the science and the CEQA documents that supported and validated the Project’s approval. All have concluded that the Project will not harm the Mojave Desert or the surrounding ecosystem. Moreover, the project is governed by an aggressive groundwater management plan that gives San Bernardino County the authority to halt Project operations if groundwater levels fall below a certain level.
The Cadiz Water Project has earned the support of more than 80 local, statewide and national business, labor and community organizations and elected officials. To learn more about our project supporters, click here.