Cadiz says SB 307 will make water infrastructure solutions 'tougher to achieve'
The California State Assembly considered and passed Senate Bill 307, a measure designed to require additional state review of the Cadiz Water Project. The legislation will now move to Governor's Office for consideration. Governor Gavin Newsom has 12 days to either sign the measure or veto it. Cadiz issued a statement regarding the Assembly vote: "As our Governor has repeatedly emphasized, California continues to suffer from chronic water supply and affordable housing shortages. These problems are not unrelated. Solutions to these two critical problems depend on infrastructure improvements that are opposed at every turn. Bills like SB 307 will make solutions even tougher to achieve. An earlier version of the Cadiz Water Project was approved by the United States Department of the Interior in 2002. A revised Project underwent a decade of additional study, peer review, state environmental impact evaluation, a separate approval by San Bernardino County and was repeatedly validated by the California Courts. SB 307 is based on the false premise that the federal government never reviewed the Project and that CEQA, the County and the Courts were not fair and independent reviewers. Opponents have parlayed their considerable political influence to establish a new state review in a new forum sought by opponents after failing to succeed in all other venues. Joined by dozens of state and local organizations, we have expressed concern because SB 307 encourages infrastructure opponents to politicize project review and singles out one California Company and one project for unique treatment. Consequently, we will urge the Governor to veto SB 307. Should the bill be enacted however, Cadiz will embrace fair, open and transparent review of science. We are abundantly confident the Project is safe and sustainable. We have committed to 50 years of ongoing public scrutiny of the Project and agreed to the County's ongoing review and control of operations. We are also supportive of the announced efforts of Three Valleys Municipal Water District to initiate an inclusive study plan over coming months to further study mountain springs in the Project area. Any application for the finding required by SB 307 as a precondition to wheeling water through the Colorado River Aqueduct will be accompanied by clear and unequivocal data and reports that can withstand critical scrutiny. We will continue to go about our business of efficiently and sustainably farming our land, acting as responsible private stewards of a public resource. The Project will be lawfully progressed under all federal, state and local regulations. More than 10 billion gallons a year are wasted to the atmosphere each year from the Bristol and Cadiz Dry-Lakes. The Project would conserve this water and divert it to 400,000 people a year. More than 63 billion gallons have been irretrievably lost since the Project was first approved. If California is serious about meeting its commitment to provide, clean, reliable and affordable water to all people, of all color in all locations, Cadiz is ready to play its part."