Question time for Cadiz

IN 1998, the private water speculator Cadiz, Inc began selling the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on the idea of a groundwater project in the Mojave Desert. As enthusiasm for it grew, by November 1999, the US Bureau of Land Management and Metropolitan had produced a draft environmental impact statement as to what they imagined that the Cadiz project would entail, its risks, its benefits and its costs.

For the next two years, hydrologists and geologists from the US National Park Service, the US Geological Survey and San Bernardino County vetted the claims of the draft EIS and returned their comments.

In September 2001, a final Environmental Impact Statement was published. The collective commentary was so withering and the risks revealed by independent scrutiny so overwhelming that in 2002 the Metropolitan board voted to abandon the project.

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