The Trump administration removed a major roadblock to plans to pump ancient groundwater from the Mojave Desert east of Twentynine Palms to urban areas of Southern California. The federal Bureau of Land Management rescinded a 2015 finding that Cadiz, Inc., needed to obtain a federal permit on 43 miles of railroad right of way before it could build a water pipeline. The $225 million project still needs approval from the Metropolitan Water District to use the Colorado River Aqueduct. In 2008, Cadiz entered a lease agreement with the railroad company to build a pipeline between the Mojave Desert to the Colorado River, using the railroad’s right of way over federal land. From the river, water would be brought to Southern California using the aqueduct. In 2002, the water district’s board voted down an earlier version of the Cadiz project that also needed to use the aqueduct. The project is staunchly opposed by environmental and desert advocates, who say it would rob the desert of the water that plants and wildlife need to survive.