Do you have time to save the precious and fragile East Mojave Desert and all of its wildlife...? Stop corporate water grab greed. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION. Tell Orange County to find another way to wash their cars three times a week!
Orange County and Los Angeles water districts have ganged up behind a corporation called "Cadiz Inc." listed on NASDAQ pumping campaign contributions of $48,100 into San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, mounting an attack on San Bernardino County's East Mojave to pump massive amounts of water from an already stressed desert groundwater aquifer. The so-called "Cadiz Groundwater Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project" would actually deplete groundwater in the East Mojave, particularly Fenner Valley by pumping and selling 50,000 to 75,000 acre-feet per year when studies show that 5000 acre feet is too much. At a fluctuating price of $300 to $700 per acre-foot, a potential private profit of $15,000,000 to $50,000,000 per year at the expense of a now public resource--San Bernardino County groundwater. Though the proposal is said to be a 50 year project, private corporate share holders would reap enormous profits in the first two years of pumping before the desert aquifer is depleted--this is water mining...with a strong likelihood of depletion of water and the ability for a private company to walk away. We ask our Officials…of what benefit is this to the people of San Bernardino County?
Over-drafting the East Mojave aquifer will put in peril precious desert wildlife and habitats that rely on these waters to survive by depleting critical springs and seeps in the adjacent federally designated wilderness areas and the Mojave National Preserve, also displacing the birds and other wildlife that rely on them for shade, foraging and refuge. Many private property owners in the East Mojave Preserve are at risk of losing their groundwater wells once the drilling starts. Cadiz has targeted the underground water flowing from the higher elevations of the East Mojave Preserve without any regard to the damage that will be done to the drop in static water that the property owners depend on. The impact to local development, community, public lands and resources should be reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act but that review is not being required based upon a Department of Interior Solicitor's Opinion. Our Senators and Congressman should be ashamed that there is no federal law against this kind of predatory take of groundwater by corporations and gangs of out of jurisdiction public agencies.
Cadiz claims that they are entitled to this massive amount of groundwater based on the harebrained idea that a small amount of water evaporating on a desert dry lake, after a seldom rain, is a waste of water, and that this small amount of evaporation justifies Cadiz Corporation to take all the groundwater before it has a chance to reach a spot where it might evaporate. Demonstrating the unsound reasoning behind this scheme, Cadiz also proposes to reclaim excess water from the Colorado River during wet years by putting it back in the very place they say water is being wasted by evaporation. However, the "water storage" end of the proposal is only in a conceptual stage and is a threat to a now pristine aquifer which could be desecrated by contaminated water injections.
What entitles one small, barely break-even farm, Cadiz, currently using less than 3000 acre-feet of water per year for their operations, the right to sell 50,000 to 75,000 acre-feet per year of San Bernardino County’s precious resource--water? Ted Dutton, the father of Bob Dutton who is running for 31st Assembly District, was one of the original owners of Cadiz. Project proponents claim that they are saving the water from being wasted via evaporation by pumping it out of the groundwater in Fenner Valley before it reaches the aquifer in Cadiz Valley which they claim is saline...though they have been farming in the Cadiz Valley for years. Without the element of GREED and YARD GRASS, none of it really makes sense, particularly since evaporation has been shown to reduce global warming and has a beneficial effect of cooling the desert making life possible. Joshua Trees and other plants survive through moisture received via the air not just the roots.
The Water Pack includes: Santa Margarita Water District, Three Valleys Water District, Golden State Water Company, Suburban Water Systems, Jurupa Community Services District, and California Water Service Company.
(see www.RiverAHA.org page "Cadiz Water Grab II" for more information)