Posted on | February 29, 2012 | 1 Comment
Cadiz, Inc today announced that it has optioned use of a derelict gas line to ship northern Californian water to the Mojave Desert for long-term storage by southern Californian cities. Personally, I’m waiting for the announcement that it will be helicoptering in melting icebergs whose freshwater might otherwise be lost to salty seas. For more than a decade, Cadiz has styled its proposal to pump from 50,000 to 80,000 acre feet of water a year from a Mojave dry valley as a “conservation” project on the grounds that in addition to pulling water it could also conceivably bank surplus water from the Colorado River.
After a decade of drought on the river revealed the nonsense in that claim, the “Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project” was re-launched earlier this winter in a Draft Environmental Impact Report as a suitable banking project for water from distant San Francisco Bay tributaries on the grounds that State Water Project supplies could be shipped from the Central Valley to the Mojave through derelict gas pipelines.
That these northern tributaries are also in crisis, in no small part because of spiked demand from Southern California caused by the Colorado River cutbacks, doesn’t make the fine print. Before any potential purchasers of Cadiz stock buy this new claim, they would be well advised to note cautions from Cadiz DEIR preparers that this storage element is very much a “second” part of the project. Ponder this and it swiftly becomes clear that early enthusiasm could leave credulous investors and water companies involved in the project liable for all kinds of construction costs, environmental remediation and stratospheric legal fees from the first blatant groundwater mining phase. Those who are in this to play the stock market, regardless of whether a drop is pumped, might also wish to proceed with care. When sharp dressers come promising water from the desert, think hard. There will be losers and those losers might well be you. Read with skepticism. Or do like Nancy told us to do. Just say ‘no.’
Previously on Cadiz: Art, water and money