Cadiz, Inc. | History
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History

FOUNDED IN 1983

 

Cadiz Inc. was founded in 1983 after acquiring 11,000 acres of land in the Cadiz Valley of eastern San Bernardino County, California. A NASA-funded research project that integrated satellite imagery with geological, geophysical, and geochemical survey methods played a major role in the selection and evaluation of the land. Through analysis of the NASA research, the founders of the Company determined that our land was situated over a large, naturally recharging aquifer system able to provide a high-quality, reliable water supply to southern Californians, as well as much-needed underground storage for surplus water.

 

1984

We installed the first production wells at our Cadiz Valley property to determine the potential of the aquifer system; these wells yielded high-quality groundwater. A year later, we more than doubled the size of the Cadiz Valley property – expanding to 27,000 acres. Today, we own more than 45,000 acres, 35,000 of which are located in the Cadiz Valley.

 

1986

With a vast underground water resource, fertile soil, few indigenous pests and warm weather, the Cadiz Valley has been ideal for agricultural development. In 1986, we planted the first table grape vineyards with much success. In 1989, we added a citrus orchard and have continued to plant seasonal crops, such as melons, peppers, squash, asparagus and beans, using agriculturally sustainable and organic farming practices. Today, our vineyards, citrus orchards and seasonal vegetable crops continue to flourish.

 

1998

In addition to our agricultural operations, in 1998 we began to develop a water supply and storage project at the property. The project was originally designed to provide storage of imported surplus Colorado River water for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and return that water and native groundwater to Metropolitan when needed. In 2002, the MWD Board declined to proceed with the Project citing uncertainty in availability of surplus supplies as well as potential for environmental impacts due to uncertain hydrology at the site.

 

2008

Starting in 2008, we began to re-design the project and invest in detailed scientific analysis to address previous uncertainties and also offer a project that could deliver a sustainable and reliable water supply to Southern California without harm to the environment.   As part of this effort, we changed the route for the project’s water conveyance pipeline to avoid impacts to undisturbed public lands.  In September 2008, we executed a 99-year lease agreement with the Arizona and California Railroad Company (ARZC) to utilize a portion of the railroad’s existing right-of-way for the water conveyance pipeline. The pipeline would be buried alongside the railroad tracks on its disturbed property and connect the project’s wellfield at our Cadiz Valley property with the Colorado River Aqueduct.

 

2011-12

Since 2008, we have achieved significant milestones in the development of the Water Project. The Project began a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review and permitting process in February 2011 led by the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD). The Final Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) was certified by SMWD in July 2012. In October 2012, the County of San Bernardino separately approved the Project’s groundwater management plan and conservation of approximately 50,000 acre-feet of water per year for 50 years. The Project is now in the pre-construction phase.

 

In addition to the Water Project, we are pursuing other sustainable and environmentally-responsible uses of our land, such as habitat preservation. Since our founding, we have been committed to the highest, best and most sustainable use of our properties and continue the pursuit of that goal today and beyond.

 

2011-12

The Project began a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review and permitting process in February 2011 led by the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD). The Final Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) was certified by SMWD in July 2012. In October 2012, the County of San Bernardino separately approved the Project’s groundwater management plan and conservation of approximately 50,000 acre-feet of water per year for 50 years. 

 

2013 – 2016

SMWD and the County defended the Project’s CEQA and County approvals in California’s Courts against multiple challenges brought by conservation interest groups-  the National Parks Conservation Association and the Center for Biological Diversity –  and oil and gas corporation Tetra Technologies Inc. In 2014, the Project’s approvals were upheld by the county Superior Court against all claims in six separate cases. In 2016, these lower court rulings were sustained by a unanimous, three-justice panel of the 4th District California Court of Appeal.  The Project’s permits to conserve 50,000 acre-feet per year for 50 years became fully-vested and not subject to further challenge. 

 

2017 – 2018

In October 2017, the BLM Washington Office concluded that the Project’s proposed use of a railroad right-of-way for its conveyance pipeline is within the scope of the original right-of-way grant and no further federal permitting to construct the pipeline and related facilities within the railroad’s right-of-way would be required prior to construction. 

 

The Project is presently pursuing terms and conditions to convey water to participating agencies within the southern California water transportation system.

 

In addition to the Water Project, we are pursuing other sustainable and environmentally-responsible uses of our land, such as habitat preservation. Since our founding, we have been committed to the highest, best and most sustainable use of our properties and continue the pursuit of that goal today and beyond.