Cadiz update

Posted on | March 3, 2011 | 3 Comments

The Santa Margarita Water District has announced notice of preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Report of what is now being styled as the “Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project,” a formerly discredited Mojave Desert groundwater mining scheme rejected by the Metropolitan Water District in 2002. Its resurrection, this time with a clutch of small water companies fronting it, has much the same players in the background, not least of them Keith Brackpool, the brazen good time boy of the Manhattan Beach Country Club, horse racing aficionado and close friend/former employer of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. For the history of a plan to extract 50,000 acre feet of water a year from the Mojave Desert and then to use public facilities to wheel the water to public agencies at cost to public lands and public purse, click here.

For the former environmental review, which describes the same plan in which little more than euphemisms and acronyms have changed, click here.

Public scoping meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, March 16th at 4 pm at the Santa Margarita Water District, 26111 Antonio Parkway Rancho in Santa Margarita and Thursday, March 24th at 6pm at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Street, Joshua Tree, California.

Among many questions forming: Which agencies will be participating and which have been sidelined by the politically connected backers of this project — in short, how the proponents of this blatant mining scheme intend to thread the regulatory needle this time?


3 Responses to “Cadiz update”

  1. Laer Pearce
    March 4th, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    As a Santa Margarita Water District customer, I’m glad to see them looking for alternate sources of supply. Southern Orange County has no local water supplies and is 100% reliant on unreliable sources – the Delta and the Colorado.

    The CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) process should address your legitimate concerns … but not your apparent dislike of good-time-boy horse racing fans.

  2. EmilyGreen
    March 4th, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    My dislike for Mr Brackpool has to do with unethical practices manipulating elected officials and the stock market to pursue a project that has already undergone environmental review and been found unsustainable and exorbitantly expensive. My worry for the small water companies involved in this is that they will be footing the cost for a project that will enrich Mr Blackpool and other Cadiz officers, but not do anything to improve reliability or quality of the companies’ water supply. The banking component involves taking public water and storing it in a basin with high levels of Chromium VI. So that becomes an even wider public health issue. The companies should look closely at why Metropolitan pulled out — it was that after paying money to develop it, the project could be shut down under monitoring rules before adequate and safe supplies were realized. The only thing that is changeable in this new iteration of the project is if Cadiz seeks weaker monitoring or a pumping program that is un-monitorable. Given what appears to be a new intent to draw from the carbonate aquifer, the latter is likely.

  3. Thankful on 37 gallons of water a day « L.A. Creek Freak
    November 24th, 2011 @ 2:17 am

    […] vaquita porpoises on the endangered species list.  And next up:  the Mojave River aquifer(links 1,2).  But who’s defining demand, and why is supply not based on the finite stuff, the […]

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