Cadiz campaign donations likely impacted San Bernardino County groundwater ordinance

A look at how Cadiz Inc has greased political wheels since 1997 to the point that supervisors in San Bernardino County, California are preparing to waive a Mojave ordinance to let the private company export desert groundwater to Orange and Los Angeles County suburbs.

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Cadiz: Wrong in any Wordle

Faced with a crowd of 500 people* last week, many protestors, the Rancho Santa Margarita Water District postponed certifying the final environmental impact report for its groundwater-mining bid in the Mojave Desert. Rather, the final vote for what is styled as the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery, and Storage Project is scheduled for tomorrow night, July 31st, 2012 at 6pm in Mission Viejo (click here for details), with a video hook up for Joshua Tree protestors who organizers clearly hope won’t have the steam to make another 300-mile return trip. For those of you who missed last week’s meeting, this YouTube video of what appears to be Cadiz lawyers feeding scripts to “public” commenters planted in the audience is a priceless piece of citizen journalism. For more on the project, click here for a Pacific Institute analysis of its shortcomings. The

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The “M Opinion” should avoid California incest

Defending his department after the release of “Chinatown,” a Los Angeles Department of Water & Power executive is said to have protested, “There was never any incest!” That was 1974. As yesterday the final environmental impact report for the Cadiz, Inc groundwater mining project proposed for the Mojave Desert was issued, this much is known: Incest is a given.

Except this time there’s no part for Faye Dunaway. The incest is political. Much has been written about Cadiz generosity to politicians. Public servants who have been on the Cadiz payroll and/or recipients of notable donations include Los Angeles Mayor Antoino Villaraigosa, former California Governor Gray Davis, Susan Kennedy — chief of staff of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California state assemblyman Richard Katz and San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. For background on Cadiz and its political largesse, this compendium is a start. Latterly, much

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The common purse: Las Posas / Cadiz

A previous post, Rancho Santa Margarita, Meet Calleguas, hit a hornet’s nest. The decision to write it was little more than an instinct. “Poke there.”  The post referred to something called the “Las Posas Basin Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project,” described by the Los Angeles Times during the project’s inception in the 1990s as “the largest reservoir in Ventura County, ensuring a reliable water supply in cities from Simi Valley to Oxnard in the event of drought or earthquake.”

Las Posas wasn’t big. It was bigger. “The $47-million project near Moorpark will hold more water than Lake Casitas and nearly four times what Lake Piru holds,” reported the Times.

Until it didn’t. When last month the Ventura County Reporter recounted that the capacity proved to not be the much-celebrated 300,000 acre feet, but instead 50,000 acre feet, no villain was named. Who needs a villain

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Rancho Santa Margarita, meet Calleguas

UPDATED 5/11/2012: As the board of the Rancho Santa Margarita Water District wades through the Draft Environmental Impact Report produced for them by their partners at Cadiz, Inc in the bid to involve the Orange County municipal water company in a water mining scheme in the Mojave Desert, let us pause to look at some bona fides of a lead Cadiz consultant. Cadiz engineer Terry Foreman would have Rancho Santa Margarita believe that “using 50,000 acre-feet per year is optimal for conservation” from a basin with recharge that is perhaps one tenth of that, and that mining groundwater poses “no long-term impacts to the desert environment.”

Believe that and you’ll believe in chocolate cake diets, so it seems unlikely that anyone involved in the project really cares about the Mojave. Yet when it comes to cost, the Rancho Santa

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