Following a hearing of its Appropriations subcommittee, the California State Senate set aside Assembly Bill 1000 (AB 1000), legislation introduced on July 3, 2017, through the controversial “gut and amend” process.
A statement from the Southern California Partnership for Jobs noted, “Designed to block the Cadiz Water Project, AB 1000 (Friedman, D- Glendale) would have set a dangerous precedent undercutting the California Environmental Quality Act – the strictest environmental protection law in the nation; usurped local control; and threatened jobs, water and economic growth for Southern California.”
Supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill was widely opposed by more than 70 local, state and national organizations, including labor unions, local government groups, chambers, cities, and water agencies, because it was bad policy that would have created new uncertainty for any infrastructure improvement in California, jeopardizing affordable, reliable services for all communities.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the bill failed to advance because there already is a process in place for such projects to be reviewed.
The Project went through a multi-year public, independent California environmental review process, was approved by California public agencies and upheld by California’s Courts, which confirmed the Project will protect the desert environment.
Moving forward is now possible and the Cadiz Water Project can be a source to add a new water supply in a safe and sustainable manner. It promises to create nearly 6,000 jobs and approximately 400,000 people a year could benefit by capturing and conserving water currently lost to evaporation.