- Author: Carole Hom
The Sacramento Bee today included an op-ed by two hydrologists criticizing a proposal by Cadiz, Inc., to tap groundwater beneath the Mojave Desert for sale to southern California water utilities. Authors John Bredehoeft, a former USGS staffer, and Newsha Ajami, with the Pacific Institute, questioned the project's sustainability because the proposed extraction rate exceeds the estimated natural recharge rate and noted its potential for negative impact upon the desert ecosystem.
The sale only needs approval by San Bernardino County. If approved, it sets a precedent for future sale of groundwater -- a public good -- for private gain. The op-ed ended with a call for state policy to manage groundwater and revision of California groundwater laws.
For more information, see the project description and EIR from the Santa Margarita Water District, a commentary from science writer Peter Gleick, and perspectives from local journalists, broadcasters, and others.