Get the REAL Facts On The Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery, and Storage Project

Corrupt in Every Way

  • San Bernardino County supervisors — who have received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Cadiz since 2007 — recently voted to give Cadiz an exemption from the county’s desert groundwater ordinance.
  • The Board also allowed SMWD, who will be a customer buying water from Cadiz and reselling it to its constituents, to be the “lead agency” on the EIR for the Project, even though SMWD is located over 200 miles away, and has no jurisdiction over the groundwater.  The National Park Service asserts that the Project “appears to be unsustainable,” and that SMWD’s EIR has “major deficiencies,” overestimates the recharge rate, and is biased “toward a particular set of results.”  MWD has objected to SMWD acting as the lead agency, and asserts the EIR mischaracterizes the Project’s water supply and relies on faulty reasoning.
  • According to the Voice of OC, Orange County’s nonprofit investigative news agency, eight Southern California water boards have discussed Cadiz in closed sessions, out of the public eye, at least 30 times since 2009, including two votes to authorize negotiations on the project.  This violates California’s open meeting laws.
  • According to meeting records, two of three districts now involved with Cadiz approved negotiations before ever publicly discussing why they are even interested or what the project entails.
  • SMWD’s environmental review was conducted by consultants paid by Cadiz.
  • Cadiz is seeking millions in taxpayer subsidies to construct the wells and pipelines, but doesn’t propose to reduce rates for SMWD ratepayers.
  • Cadiz doesn’t even own the water it proposes to sell! The water, located in desert aquifers, in part originates from public lands, including national parks. Cadiz proposes to sell public water to the public for its private profit.
  • In some cases, landowners have a right to sell “surplus” groundwater from their land, but since Cadiz proposes to pump more water every year from the aquifer than will be recharged, even under its wildly optimistic assumption of recharge rates, how can it claim it’s selling surplus water?
  • Cadiz president, Scott Slater, is also Cadiz’s lawyer. He is not paid a salary in his role as president, but his law firm stands to make millions if the project is approved.

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