New evidence calls into question Cadiz’s CEQA review, shows surrounding desert springs are connected
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on a peer-reviewed scientific study that confirms the Cadiz Water Project would severely harm vital desert springs by draining a life-sustaining aquifer:
“This study proves that the aquifer Cadiz seeks to drain is connected to critical desert springs, contrary to Cadiz’s claims. Given this new information, I strongly believe Cadiz’s CEQA review must be reexamined.
“The greed of this company is unsurpassed. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence of the damage it would cause, Cadiz is still trying to profit by exploiting a vital source of water for desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and other desert life.
“When this project was initially proposed, the U.S. Geological Survey, an independent scientific agency in the Interior Department, determined the natural recharge rate of the basin to be 2,000 to 10,000 acre-feet a year, far less than 50,000 acre-feet Cadiz wants to extract. The USGS reconfirmed that determination in a letter last year. We now know withdrawing that much water would also dry up neighboring springs.
“The USGS wasn’t the only agency that dismissed Cadiz’s wild assertions. The National Park Service also criticized Cadiz’s flawed environmental documents, stating, ‘It is inappropriate to conclude “a priori” that all springs in the watershed area are hydraulically discontinuous with the target aquifer.’ This latest scientific study backs up the department’s view.
“Cadiz needs to accept this new scientific study and abandon its goal of draining the Mojave Desert of its most precious resource: water. It’s time Cadiz and its investors give up on this desert boondoggle.”