“…the voice of the desert is the one which has been least often heard.
We came to it last, and when we did come,
we came principally to exploit rather than to listen.
Joseph Wood Krutch
It’s long been acknowledged that the Mojave Desert provides the most ideal location for our prisons, landfills, renewable energy plants, military installations, military bombing ranges, and royalty-free access to minerals and water. In what other ways could man possibly benefit from the realm of desert bighorn sheep, extraordinary seasonal wildflower blooms, desert tortoises, and wild desert oases? Unfortunately, this is the traditionally held [and ignorant] view of and behavior toward the the California desert and its resources.
THREATENED: Bonanza Spring and the Clipper Mountains
The publicly-traded company Cadiz, Inc. grows citrus and avocados on its 45,000 acres of privately held desert land in Cadiz Valley (water intensive farming in the desert?). Cadiz has proposed to mine 50,000 acre-feet of shared groundwater every year from beneath Cadiz Valley while absurdly claiming that pumping from the basin would not affect Bonanza Spring (seen in the attached photos), or any other springs in the adjacent Mojave Trails National Monument or the Mojave National Preserve to the north. U.S. Geological Survey geologists assert that only 5,000 to 6,000 acre-feet per year of recharge is possible (this is, after all, the driest desert in North America). It’s simple math: drawdown will exceed recharge (we learned this nearly one hundred years ago with the Owens Valley/Owens River and LADWP). For nearly two decades, Cadiz, Inc. has tried to advance their water mining project and for nearly two decades they have failed. Why?
“Access to new water supplies is extremely critical to the continued vitality of our cities,” says California Senator Tony Cárdenas in a promotional document defending Cadiz. But will a private water sale to one county (its current proposal) benefiting a mere 400,000 people offer relief to a metropolitan area of 13 million? Cárdenas falls in line with those who believe that coastal cities can sustain infinite growth (“vitality”) without having an adequate local water supply. It is both illogical and irrational for a coastal city to suggest that it requires rare desert water for its “vitality”.
The California desert conservation community has been repeatedly successful at beating the nonsense served up by Cadiz; forward movement for their water mining venture has been blocked again and again. That is, until the 45th President of the United States moved into the White House. Of all places, why would POTUS have an interest in the remote California desert and in a water project that serves less than half a million souls? Why would this unremarkable water project on the remote Mojave Desert make Donald’s Top 50 Priority List of Emergency and National Security Projects? Follow the money trail!
In late July of 2017, the 45th Administration confirmed David Bernhardt, a highly controversial pick, for the Number 2 post at the Department of the Interior:
“Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on David Bernhardt, President Trump’s nominee for Deputy Secretary of the Interior, to recuse himself from all matters concerning the Cadiz water extraction project. Bernhardt is currently the head of the natural resources division at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, the lobbying firm that is representing Cadiz.” “Given the fact that your current firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, is contracted to lobby on behalf of Cadiz, Inc., I remain deeply concerned about any potential conflict of interest should you serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior—the agency responsible for oversight of the federal lands related to the Cadiz proposal,” Senator Feinstein wrote.”
If , as the proponents suggest, the project is good and necessary, then why has it been hotly contested and written about for so many years? Does it make any logical or ethical sense to steal water from an arid desert and its wildlife to serve a coastal city? Several hours worth of reading and viewing can be found in the numerous links provided below. Start with the fist four articles marked in bold.
Protect and preserve your Mojave Desert. Thank you for reading and opposing this dirty project.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Unique Mojave Desert Oasis at the Center of the Cadiz Controversy
The Cadiz water scheme: How political juice kept a bad idea alive for years
Cadiz Inc.’s pipe dream to drain a California desert spring
The Trouble with Cadiz
The Absurdity of the Cadiz Water Export Scheme
CADIZ WATER MINING PROJECT FALTERS WITH PUBLIC SCRUTINY, ELECTION SETBACKS
Follow the Money: Cadiz Cash Funds Study in Favor of Plan to Drain Mojave
How Interior’s top lawyer is paving the way to drain California’s desert and deliver millions to Secretary Bernhardt’s former law firm
Protect CA from Trump-Supported Desert Water Mining Project
Senate should OK SB 307 to give California more review of Cadiz aquifer harvesting project
The Cadiz project to drain the desert is a bad idea
STUDY: CADIZ WATER PROJECT SCIENCE UNRELIABLE, WOULD JEOPARDIZE DESERT SPRINGS
Feinstein Slams Decision to Kill Cadiz Bill in State Senate
The Cadiz Pipeline (audio: jump to 8:05)
Loan to Jared Kushner raises questions about California water project
Study shows Cadiz water project would threaten spring in national monument
Cadiz project’s harm wouldn’t be limited to the desert
Environmental groups sue Trump administration over California desert groundwater project
A Controversial Plan to Drain Water From the Desert? Go for It, Trump Administration Says
Federal policy change criticized for giving ‘free pass’ to controversial desert water project
Forget it, Jake: It’s Cadiz
Will Cadiz Project Drain Desert Aquifers?
The ludicrous plan to pump Mojave water to L.A.
Opinion: AB 1000 Would Protect California’s Deserts From Trump
The scheme to pump desert water to L.A. could destroy the Mojave. California’s Legislature needs to block it
WATER IS PRECIOUS IN THE DESERT. SPEAK UP TO PROTECT IT.
Cadiz Water Project should be nixed
TAKE ACTION: Protect California’s Precious Desert Water Resources!
Cadiz: The Desert Water Pimps
Interior head says public lands can make U.S. a ‘dominant’ oil power
Secretary Zinke’s Magic-8-Ball approach to policy making
Trump eases the way for a controversial water pumping project in a California desert
Mojave Desert Feinstein asks Trump administration to protect desert water
Cadiz Inc. would harm the Mohave. Here’s how
Cook: Orange County Water District Should Distance Itself from the Cadiz Water Project
Feinstein to Zinke: Don’t Let Cadiz Destroy Pristine Desert
Feinstein: Trump Nominee Should Recuse Himself from Cadiz Water Project
Water extraction project would be destructive to California’s Mojave Desert
Desert Water Project Would Threaten Tribes’ Sacred Lands
How you can tell Trump cares nothing about water: He’s supporting the ridiculous Cadiz project
National monument boundaries protect our heritage: Guest commentary
Protect the Groundwater Beneath Our National Treasures
Trump’s pick for a top Interior post has sued the agency on behalf of powerful California water interests
You are visiting the blog of fine art landscape photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website. You can also find Michael on Facebook.