Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project
The Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project is designed to capture and conserve billions of gallons of renewable native groundwater flowing beneath our property in California’s Mojave Desert that is currently being lost to evaporation and salt contamination at nearby dry lakes. Through the active management of the aquifer system and employing a state-of-the-art groundwater protection program, the Project will reduce the loss of groundwater to evaporation from the dry lakes, put this water to beneficial use and create a reliable water supply for Southern California.
The total quantity of groundwater to be recovered and conveyed to Project participants will not exceed a long-term annual average of 50,000 acre-feet per year. The aquifer system at the Water Project area also offers storage capacity of approximately one million acre-feet allowing Project participants to carry-over their annual supply and store it in the aquifer system from year to year. In addition, this storage space could be used to bank imported surplus water in wet periods for use in later years when needed.
The Water Project will be implemented in two phases:
Conservation & Recovery Component – Phase I
As part of the first phase of the Project, additional wells would be constructed at our Cadiz Valley property and augment our existing agricultural operation. The wellfield will capture and conserve water that is naturally flowing into the system every year and recover water that is moving toward the dry lakes and would otherwise be lost to salt contamination and eventual evaporation. The wellfield will change the hydraulic gradient, pull water back from its downward flow and minimize the loss of groundwater at the dry lakes. Safe, established groundwater management techniques will be employed to ensure the Project is operated without causing harm to the environment or any users in the area. The Project includes a state-of-the-art Groundwater Management, Monitoring and Mitigation Plan (GMMMP) that will be enforced by San Bernardino County to address any potential for impacts.
Recovered groundwater would be conveyed to participating water providers from the Water Project area via a 43-mile pipeline to the Colorado River Aqueduct. The pipeline will be buried underground within an active railroad right-of-way that crosses the Project area and the Aqueduct.
Participating water providers will also have the option to decrease or forego their water delivery in certain years, such as wet years, and carry it over to future years when it may be needed. This carry-over water would be stored in the aquifer system at the Project area.
Imported Water Storage Component – Phase II
A second phase of the Project would make available up to one million acre-feet of groundwater storage space in the aquifer system for water imported to the Project area. Under the Imported Water Storage Component, water from the Colorado River or the State Water Project could be conveyed to recharge basins on our property in wet years to percolate into the aquifer system, where it would be held in storage. In dry years, previously stored water would be returned to the CRA via the conveyance pipeline.
FACILITIES & CONSTRUCTION
Facilities required for Phase 1 operation include –
- Wellfield on Cadiz Inc. property in Cadiz Valley
- Pipeline to the Colorado River Aqueduct and/or other Southern California water conveyance system
- Manifold to interconnect wells and pipeline on Cadiz Inc. property
- Power facilities at wellfield
- Treatment facilities at the wellfield
- Railroad features, such as fire suppression system, hydro-power turbines and fiber optic communication
Preliminary estimates of Phase 1 construction costs are approximately $225 – 275 million depending upon a number of factors, including material prices. Operations and maintenance costs are estimated to be less than $100/acre-foot and will largely depend upon the cost of power. Treatment costs are estimated to be approximately $50/ acre-foot. The Project is expected to create approximately 1,100 direct and indirect jobs per year of construction and contribute over $5 million of new tax revenue to local government budgets per year once constructed.
To learn more about the Cadiz Water Project, visit the Project’s website at www.cadizwaterproject.com.