Draining Mojave Desert Aquifers: Poor Policy and Bad for our Public Lands!
Water is a critical resource throughout the desert and the state of California. There’s no doubt that our state needs a clean, reliable, sustainable source of water for people, industry, agriculture, and wildlife. With this in mind, it is crucial that we prevent poorly designed, questionable water development projects from moving forward.
Cadiz Inc., a private developer, plans to pump an average of 50,000 acre feet/year of groundwater from underneath the Mojave Desert for the next 50 years. Water would travel through a pipeline to the Colorado River Aqueduct and then on to cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. However, scientific studies indicate that the aggressive pumping will continue to affect groundwater resources even years after the project ends. What this could mean is that some groundwater impacts could go undetected until it’s too late to do anything about them. The project is not only shortsighted, but is totally unsustainable as hydrologists have found that the intensive pumping exceeds natural recharge rates. This imbalance could negatively impact our desert national parks and adversely impact groundwater resources. Finally, the project could harm air quality by creating dust as project pumping will deprive the soil on Bristol and Cadiz Dry Lakes of moisture.
I oppose the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project because of its harmful impacts to air quality, water resources and our federal lands, including the Mojave National Preserve.