Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on SB 307, California Senator Richard Roth’s (D-Riverside) bill to protect the Mojave Desert from Cadiz, after it was passed by the California Senate Appropriations Committee:
“This is a win for the Mojave Desert and our effort to stop Cadiz. This bill was blocked in the Appropriations Committee the last two years but it finally cleared that major hurdle this time. I’m hopeful the rest of the legislature will pass this bill soon and get it to the governor’s desk.
“Cadiz wants to drain up to 50,000 acre-feet of water every year from a major desert aquifer, disregarding independent scientific analysis that shows the project just isn’t workable. The U.S. Geological Survey has repeatedly stated the natural recharge rate for the aquifer is only between 2,000 and 10,000 acre-feet per year. The National Park Service has confirmed that analysis.
“Senator Roth’s bill would ensure that aquifer, and the rest of the California desert, receives the extra protection it deserves. I want to thank Chair Portantino, along with Senators Bradford, Hill and Wieckowski for their support in committee. And of course, Assemblywoman Friedman who has been leading efforts in the Assembly.
“Water is the lifeblood of the Mojave Desert. If Cadiz is allowed to drain a vital aquifer, the unique flora and fauna, like the rare desert tortoise that make our desert special would be lost. Thanks to today’s vote, we’re closer than ever to ensuring that won’t happen.”