Facilities that will be constructed to support operation of
the Cadiz Water Project include:
Wellfield & Manifold System – To manage the groundwater basin at Cadiz and allow for conservation of groundwater, the existing agricultural wellfield on Cadiz private property will be augmented. The approved permits allow for up to approximately 25 additional wells and a pipeline manifold system to support project operations.
Power Facilities – Wells in the wellfield will require power to operate, as would an optional pump station that may be constructed along the pipeline route to assist with the tie-in to the Colorado River Aqueduct (CRA) described below. The approved permits allow for this power to be supplied by local natural gas, solar power or electricity, and the property is crossed by natural gas pipelines and electric power facilities.
Tie-in to the Colorado River Aqueduct – To deliver water conserved at the Project area to end users, Project supplies would be transported via pipeline (see below) to the CRA, a 242-mile facility that imports Colorado River water into Southern California. Entry or “tie-in” to the CRA will be subject to terms and conditions set by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which owns the facility. Project permits contemplate two CRA tie-in options. Under Option 1, a direct tie-in to the CRA would be constructed at the intersection of the Cadiz water conveyance pipeline and the CRA. Under option 2, an equalization storage reservoir would be constructed on Cadiz property near the CRA to regulate flows in to the CRA.
Treatment facilities at the wellfield– A water treatment plant with storage and a booster pumping station has been added to project plans to treat groundwater at the site to meet potential CRA requirements for removal of specific naturally occurring minerals. All groundwater at Cadiz presently meets state and federal drinking water standards without treatment. However, the groundwater treatment system would be able to remove naturally occurring minerals from the groundwater prior to pumping it to the CRA, in the event treatment is required to access the CRA. Project treatment facilities would be constructed at the wellfield and would occupy approximately 10 acres of land. An addendum to the Cadiz Water Project EIR reviewed these proposed additions and found they would have no significant environmental impact.
Pipeline to the Southern California water conveyance system – An approximately 43-mile-long underground water conveyance pipeline would be constructed to deliver water conserved at the Project wellfield to the CRA. In accordance with a 99-year lease with the Arizona-California Railroad (ARZC), the pipeline would be co-located entirely within a portion of the ARZC right-of-way that runs north-south from Cadiz and crosses the CRA in Rice, California. The ROW is 200 feet wide (approximately 100 feet on either side of the track centerline) and is actively used by the ARZC, a short line railroad that carries freight between California and Arizona.
In accordance with our lease, the Project will provide
several benefits to the railroad:
- Railroad trestle fire protection: There are 42 trestles along the pipeline alignment (29 wooden and 13 steel), and the Cadiz water pipeline will enable fire protection for all trestles along the pipeline route, including an automated fire protection system at the wooden trestles that would make use of available telemetry and heat-sensing technologies to allow ARZC to remotely address fire risk.
- Improved road access: Project pipeline construction will improve the existing roadway system along the ARZC ROW, enabling improved access and thereby more efficient inspection of railroad improvements adjacent to the access
- Electrical power: Electric power generated by hydro-electric turbines within the pipeline will be made available to the ARZC to power its operations along the route, including lighting, heat and refrigeration power at railroad sidings that currently do not have access to electrical power. Hydropower would be generated by the water flow through the pipeline
- Fiber‐optic line use: A dedicated fiber‐optic line will be installed along the pipeline alignment, and ARZC will have the ability to use this communication line for multiple purposes, including remote (and automatic) fire‐fighting capability and for notification of other emergency situations along the ARZC tracks and ROW.
- Water: In addition to trestle fire protection, water from the Cadiz pipeline will provide the steam to power a steam locomotive-powered train for tourists on the ARZC from Parker AZ to Cadiz. This train, to be called “The Cadiz Southeastern Railroad, ” will allow tourists to enjoy stunning vistas of the desert landscape, rugged mountains and the Colorado River, and would honor the history of Cadiz, which was originally developed in the late 1800s as a railroad siding where transcontinental trains could stop for water. Water will also be provided to ARZC railcars for delivery to facilities needing it for vegetation control, washing and similar purposes.