Southern California’s recent drought has brought to light the importance of finding sustainable water in this part of the state. The Cadiz Water Project may be just the thing.
The Cadiz Water Project is a public-private partnership between Cadiz, Inc. and the Santa Margarita Water District, Orange County’s second-largest water agency. It is an innovative and new sustainable water source. Approximately 400,000 people a year could benefit by capturing and conserving water currently lost to evaporation in the eastern Mojave Desert.
When the National Governors Association circulated a preliminary list of infrastructure projects in December, the Cadiz Valley water project was among them. The Project will be located at the base of a significant desert watershed in Cadiz, approximately 80 miles from Barstow, California.
The Fenner Valley and Orange Blossom Wash watersheds span approximately 1,300 square miles (approximately the size of the State of Rhode Island). Rain and snow that fall in the upper elevations works its way down and goes below the ground. It filters through cracks in bedrock and porous alluvial, finally ending up in a huge underground aquifer. The amount of water in that aquifer is about as much as Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir.