Milestones and Next Steps
Since 2008, the Project has achieved many milestones:
September 2008: Cadiz enters into an agreement with the Arizona & California Railroad Company giving Cadiz the ability to build the Water Project’s conveyance pipeline within the railroad’s existing right-of-way. The pipeline will be built along the railroad tracks on pre-disturbed land.
May 2009: Cadiz enters into a Green Compact with the Natural Heritage Institute pledging to preserve lands, restore ecosystems, manage the aquifer system sustainably, and explore solar power production.
February 2010: CH2M HILL releases results of year-long, peer-reviewed study measuring the vast scale and productivity of the Cadiz aquifer system. The study, which was conducted utilizing new field work and new models produced by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2006 and 2008, confirms that the aquifer system can sustainably support the Water Project. Carlton Professor of Geology Dr. John Sharp of the University of Texas releases his first peer review report on the Cadiz wells, strongly supporting the conclusions of the CH2M HILL study.
April 2010: California State Geologist, Certified Hydrologist, and Professor at USC Dr. Dennis Williams of GeoScience Support Services, Inc. releases GeoScience’s peer review report “Geohydrologic Assessment of the Fenner Gap Area” strongly supporting the conclusions of the CH2M Hill study.
May 2010: Carlton Professor of Geology Dr. John Sharp of the University of Texas releases his second peer review report on the permeability of the carbonate aquifer, strongly supporting the conclusions of the CH2M Hill study.
June 2010: Santa Margarita Water District (“SMWD”) joins Project committing to act as lead agency for the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review process; committing funds to the environmental review process; and acquiring an option in the Project for a firm annual supply of water and groundwater storage rights.
Three Valleys Municipal Water District and Golden State Water Company join the Project committing funds to the CEQA environmental review process and acquiring an option in the Project for a firm annual supply of water and groundwater storage rights.
October 2010: Suburban Water Systems joins the Project committing funds to the CEQA environmental review process and acquiring an option in the Project for a firm annual supply of water and groundwater storage rights.
February 2011: SMWD issues a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) formally commencing the public portion of the CEQA process for the Project. A 30-day scoping period is also initiated. Scoping meetings were held by SMWD on March 16th and March 24th. Click here to view copy of the NOP.
May 2011: A Groundwater Stewardship Committee comprised of leading national groundwater experts is assembled to guide the design of the operating plan and groundwater monitoring program for the Project. Committee members are drawn from various sectors and include experts from regulatory institutions, environmental organizations, academia and the professional groundwater industry.
Jurupa Community Services District joins the Project committing funds to the CEQA environmental review process and acquiring an option in the Project for a firm annual supply of water and groundwater storage rights.
Economist John E. Husing, Ph.D. finds that the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“Project”) would create and support over 5,900 jobs, generate more than $878 million in economic activity over its two phases, and infuse tens of millions in tax revenue to local governments.
October 2011: The Groundwater Stewardship Committee completes its review of the Project’s technical and scientific studies and determines that the Project can offer a significant water supply to Southern California communities and avoid environmental harm. The GSC’s report, which includes recommendations for the inclusion of a state-of-the-art groundwater protection program, also found that the Project can feasibly recover 1.3 million acre-feet of clean groundwater from impending evaporation over a fifty year period of operation with a continuing conservation benefit of an additional 900,000 acre-feet occurring thereafter.
December 2011: California Water Service Company joins the Project acquiring an option in the Project for a firm annual supply of water and groundwater storage rights. SMWD releases the Project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for public review and comment. To view a copy of the Draft EIR, click here.
January/ February 2012: SMWD hosts an informational workshop about the Project and two public comment meetings to take verbal comments on the Draft EIR.
March 2012: Draft EIR public comment period closes March 14, 2012.
May 2012: Company pledges 50% of labor force and 80% of infrastructure spending for Cadiz Valley Water Project to San Bernardino County residents and businesses.
SMWD, Cadiz and the County entered into a Memorandum of Understanding creating the framework for finalizing the Project’s Groundwater Management, Monitoring, and Mitigation Plan (GMMMP), in accordance with the County’s desert groundwater ordinance. The GMMMP is a key component of the Project designed to monitor aquifer conditions and establish measures to protect against impacts to critical desert resources and would be enforced by the County The MOU also reserved up to 20% of the Project’s annual yield for the future use of County-based water providers under terms and conditions similar to those of other Project participants.
July 2012: SMWD releases Final EIR responding to all comments received on the draft environmental documents and holds a public hearing. On July 31st, the SMWD Board voted 5-0 to certify the Final EIR and approve the Project. At the meeting, SMWD also approved the Project’s Groundwater Management, Monitoring and Mitigation Plan and their Purchase and Sale Agreement with Cadiz, which finalizes economic terms for SMWD’s participation in the Project.
October 2012: The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the final GMMMP for the Project. The County is a Responsible Agency in the CEQA review process as the local government entity responsible for oversight over groundwater resources in the Cadiz Valley. In addition to approving the GMMMP, the County adopted certain findings under CEQA and became the first Responsible Agency to take an approving action pursuant to the certified EIR.
August 2013: We released a new report prepared by engineering consulting firm CH2M HILL detailing almost $8 million in annual cost savings to Southern California water users that can be realized through the introduction of the Project’s high-quality water into the region’s water transportation system. This amounts to nearly $400 million in savings to regional ratepayers over the 50-year life of the Project ($203 million in today’s dollars).
October 2013: We released a new report by GHA Water Inc. finding that the Project could provide $648 million in additional benefits to the Southern California water system, if the Project qualifies as Intentionally Created Surplus (ICS) under Colorado River supply management guidelines adopted in 2007 by the US Bureau of Reclamation.
October 2013: A new independent peer review of the Project’s hydrology is released by Anthony Brown, one of Southern California’s most respected hydrologists and Principal Hydrologist at Aquilogic as part of the settlement of a CEQA lawsuit challenging the Project’s approvals filed by Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). After being given unrestricted access to the Project site, data and modeling, Brown concluded that the Project will not lead to significant impacts to the environment or critical resources of the desert, such as land surface elevation, water quality or regional springs.
December 2013: Trial in the six remaining CEQA cases pending against the Project began in early December and concluded in February 2014.
May 2014: The Judge in the six CEQA cases issued a Minute Order denying all claims against the Project and upholding the CEQA approvals.
August 2014: Statements of Decision in the six cases issued by the Judge.
August 2014: Lake Arrowhead Community Services District, a California water retailer, and the Company sign a Letter of Intent reserving 3,000 acre-feet of water from the Project for delivery to the LACSD service area.
March 2015: Cadiz Inc. Establishes 7,400-Acre Fenner Valley Desert Tortoise Conservation Bank in San Bernardino County, California. The Fenner Valley Desert Tortoise Conservation Bank is the largest bank ever approved by California Department of Fish & Wildlife for exclusive protection of the desert tortoise, a threatened species. Under an MOU with San Diego Zoo Global, the Bank Lands will also provide ongoing species research.
June 2015: Announced plans to install in-line hydropower turbines in the Cadiz Water Project pipeline to generate electric power to provide lighting, refrigeration and heating to the ARZC railroad operation, including its transloading operation in Rice, California. By installing in-line power turbines in the pipeline, as proposed, low-cost, renewable energy will be generated to meet ARZC’s local business objectives.
Also announced a strategic development agreement with Semitropic Water Storage District, the manager of one of the world’s largest groundwater banking operations. The agreement sets forth principals for collaboration on the operations of the Cadiz Project and Semitropic’s groundwater bank for mutual benefit, though exchanges or transfers of water supplies.
August 2015: Announced plans to use a highly-efficient state approved technology to treat Project water supplies for naturally occurring Chromium-6 (Cr-6) prior to its entering the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Colorado River Aqueduct. The technology is capable of treating Cr-6 and arsenic to a level of non-detect. The MCL for total Chromium (Cr-6 and Cr-3) in California is 50 ppb.
October 2015: Retiring State Director of the California Office of the BLM sends the Company a letter evaluation of the Project’s proposed use of the ARZC railroad right-of-way for its pipeline. The controversial evaluation summarizes that although the pipeline will provide railroad benefits because it will also serve a commercial purpose it requires a separate right-of-way permit from the BLM. This evaluation was the first of its kind BLM, which has long allowed longitudinal infrastructure to co-locate in railroad rights-of-way without additional permits required.
November 2015: Otay Water District Board in San Diego County authorizes its General Manager to negotiate participation in the Project.
May 2016: California Court of Appeal, 4th District issues 6 separate unanimous rulings sustaining the lower court’s judgements which had validated the CEQA review and approval of the Cadiz Water Project.
Summer 2016: Bi-partisan members of Congress request legislation that would clarify the scope of railroad rights-of-way over federal lands and allow third-party use without additional permitting. The House Oversight Committee also initiates investigation into the October 2015 BLM evaluation and communications with third parties.
September 2016: The California Chamber of Commerce joins project support list.
January 2017: Project named to various priority infrastructure lists, including one prepared by the National Building Trades Union, prepared for new Trump Administration.
February 2017: Bi-partisan members of Congress send letter to the Department of the Interior to request a withdrawal of BLM’s railroad right-of-way evaluation policy, as well as the 2015 Cadiz evaluation. The letter also requests that Interior find that the Cadiz Water Project is within the scope of the right-of-way.
March 2017: Bureau of Land Management issues IM-2017-060, which rescinds the previous administration’s railroad right-of-way evaluation policy.
May 2017: Company announces strategic transaction with Apollo Global Management. Funds affiliated with Apollo provide $60M of capital to repay Cadiz Senior Secured Mortgage Debt of $45M and $15M in new construction capital, and also provide a conditional commitment for up to an additional $240M in construction financing.
The Company must complete purchase arrangements with Project participants, finalize construction design, bidding and financing and move ahead to the construction phase.
Preliminary estimates of 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. 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.
To learn more about the Project, click on the links below: