FINAL EIR ON CONTROVERSIAL CADIZ WATER PROJECT CERTIFIED

FINAL EIR ON CONTROVERSIAL CADIZ WATER PROJECT CERTIFIED

The Environmental Impact Report for a controversial plan by the Cadiz Corporation to pump water out of desert aquifers for use in urban areas was certified Tuesday. Reporter Dan Stork says the decision spawned battling press releases…

In a special meeting on Tuesday night, the Santa Margarita Water District Governing Board certified the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Cadiz water project. That water district (SMWD) is the lead agency for the primary environmental review, and would be a primary customer for the water that would be pumped from the Fenner Valley aquifer, and piped to Orange County and other agencies in southern California. In a battle of competing press releases following the decision, the SMWD and the National Parks Conservation Association each cited the opinions of scientific experts, claiming diametrically opposed environmental impacts for the project. The SMWD’s release said that the Draft EIR issued earlier this year “found the project would avoid any significant unmitigatable impacts to desert resources—except for some short-term construction emissions.” For its part, the NPCA said “Independent research found the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage project to be totally unsustainable,” and also cited misgivings expressed officially by the federal government’s National Park Service on several grounds. In closing the SMWD release said that the project will help it “ensure reliable supplies for the 155,000 customers who rely on Santa Margarita Water District.” The NPCA warned that it “will not stand by and allow this project to move forward.” View the SMWD statement and the NPCA statement.

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