Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement after the Trump administration reversed BLM policy to approve the Cadiz water extraction project in the Mojave desert without requiring any federal permits:
“It’s no surprise the Trump administration is willing to look the other way while Cadiz drains a vital desert aquifer. California must now step up to protect the Mojave desert from Cadiz and its friends in the administration.
“Knowing a federal environmental review would expose the dangers of its project, Cadiz has waited years for an administration willing to greenlight its plans without any real oversight. That gamble has clearly paid off. Cadiz is now set to drain more than three times the aquifer’s natural recharge rate, putting life in the Mojave desert at risk.
“Just as alarming, Cadiz’s water is reported to contain deadly chemicals like arsenic and cancer-causing Chromium-6. Cadiz has provided no evidence of how it would deliver that water safely to the Colorado River Aqueduct, threatening the water supply for 19 million Californians.
“The Trump administration might be willing to let Cadiz profit by harming our public lands but California shouldn’t give up. Our state can still require a stronger review of Cadiz’s plans. The fight to protect our desert isn’t over.”