09 Oct Press Release: Cadiz Inc. Issues Statement on Media Reports Following BLM Guidance
10.9.15 – Over the past week, various erroneous media and opinion pieces have been published about the Company and the status of the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation Recovery & Storage Project (“Project”) following an announcement made related to the Project’s proposed use of an 1875 Railway Right-of-Way (“ROW”) for a water conveyance pipeline. On Monday, October 5, 2015, the Company provided guidance to shareholders that we had learned through third parties that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) intended to find that the Project’s proposed use of the ROW was outside the scope of the original grant. The Company has since confirmed the decision and has submitted a letter in response to the U.S. Director of the BLM. We believe the findings issued by the California State Director of the BLM, who retired the day the letter was sent, are contrary to federal law and policy and should be rescinded.
The portrait of Cadiz depicted in the press recently does not reflect the Company and its assets of today. The Company owns 45,000 acres of agricultural land and water rights and permits to capture and conserve 50,000 acre-feet of water arising under state law in full compliance with local groundwater ordinances. Since 2008, the Company has made management changes with the appointment of Scott Slater as CEO, invested in science, partnered with the best-in-class water agencies and public interest groups, pursued an environmentally sound Water Project and received approvals for such a project from those public agencies with jurisdiction over it. These approvals were upheld in Court and have been supported in appellate proceedings by 11 Amici. The Company has also invested in all of its diverse land assets and, last year, received permits for the largest land bank dedicated to the conservation of the desert tortoise in California history. The Company is proud of its safe and sustainable Water Project, which was approved under the most stringent environmental laws in the country, and we will continue to move ahead to deliver a reliable water supply to Southern California.
Scott Slater said, “We have an approved water conservation project to supply water for 400,000 people, a final environmental impact report and a groundwater management approval sustained by a California Superior Court Judge who dismissed all 6 cases brought against the Project and sustained every aspect of the government approvals.
“It wasn’t politics or connections that established the quantities of groundwater in aquifers beneath the earth in the Fenner Valley. Science, not politics, measured the evaporation from dry lakes around the Project area and determined it balances with the precipitation that enters the aquifer. Methodical investigation, study and analysis, not the ballot box, concluded that impacts feared by some are scientifically impossible.
“We will be persistent in our efforts to demonstrate to the BLM that the public interest and its own guidance documents require that it modify its baseless decision and if our requests are unsuccessful, we will seek a swift resolution in Federal Court. We are confident in our case and that our cause is just.”