Cadiz Inc. has announced that the Cadiz Water Project— a long-term project designed to bring water to communities in drought-stricken Southern California — has been reviewed by the California Superior Court and found in compliance with the nation’s strictest environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

“After comprehensive scientific study, thorough independent peer review, public agency approval and validation in California’s Superior and Appellate Courts, the Project has fully demonstrated that it can conserve enough water for 400,000 people without harming the environment,” said Scott Slater, Cadiz CEO & President. “We have been steadfast in our commitment to do things the right way, in accordance with the law, and we look forward to implementing the project with our public agency partners as soon as possible.”

The Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery & Storage Project is a public-private partnership designed to conserve groundwater presently lost to evaporation and high-salinity in the Mojave Desert’s Cadiz Valley and deliver it to Southern California communities. Over the 50-year term of the Project, an average of 50,000 acre-feet of water per year, enough for 400,000 people, will be delivered across the region in compliance with a comprehensive, state-of-the-art groundwater management program that will be enforced by San Bernardino County. In a second phase, the Project would store up to 1 million acre-feet of imported water for use in future dry years. The Company developed the Cadiz Water Project in partnership with the Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD), Orange County’s second largest water agency, as well as water providers that serve seven Southern California counties.

The Cadiz Project is expected to provide nearly a billion dollar economic stimulus to the Southern California economy. Noting the future regional benefits of the project, elected officials, labor organizations and business representatives applauded the court’s decision.

“The Cadiz Project has passed multiple tests under our state’s stringent regulatory framework affirming that it can reliably deliver new water, while protecting the local environment and supporting good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Congressman Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley). “We’re in a drought that isn’t going away, and California must do all it can to ensure we have secure water supplies. It’s time to move ahead with this carefully planned project and bring more water and more jobs to our communities.”

“A reliable, affordable water supply is critical to sustaining the family-supporting jobs we continue to need across our region. With all CEQA challenges now behind it, the exhaustively studied Cadiz Project should be part of any regional water supply strategy, and we encourage our elected officials to do all they can to support the project’s immediate construction and implementation,” stated Dave Sorem P.E., Immediate Past President, Engineering Contractors’ Association.

“Addressing our region’s water reliability issues will be critical to ensuring a prosperous economy and opportunities for all Southern California residents, so we congratulate the Cadiz Water Project for successfully completing an extensive environmental review and CEQA process (not an easy feat in California) and we look forward to the project’s implementation as a new, innovative and sustainable water supply for our region’s communities and businesses,” said Tracy Hernandez, CEO of Los Angeles County Business Federation.