header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
46°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 2
1848 - SCV becomes part of the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo [treaty]
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


Commentary by Linda Castro
| Thursday, Jun 15, 2017

The Cadiz Valley is located in the eastern Mojave Desert, south of the Mojave National Preserve and Historic Route 66 and east of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base. Cadiz Valley is a postcard of the California desert, surrounded by mountains, sand dunes, dry lake beds, ancient creosote plants and blooming yucca. Wildflower fans from southern California and beyond flock to the region for its “super bloom” of color — which doubles as an important food source for desert tortoises.

Amid the region’s beauty is the threat from the Trump administration’s new priority project: the Cadiz Water Project. Proposed by Los Angeles-based Cadiz Inc., it would pump significantly more groundwater from the valley’s aquifer than is naturally recharged, inflicting damage to the Mojave National Preserve, Mojave Trails National Monument and surrounding areas, as well as to desert wildlife.

Cadiz Inc. seeks to sell this water, vital to the environment, to markets in Orange, Riverside and some parts of Los Angeles County (not including the Santa Clarita area), despite alternative options for water resources that do not pose such irreversible threats.

For those who might not be aware where Santa Clarita gets its water – about half comes from the State Water Project (from Northern California) and about half comes from two groundwater supplies, our alluvial aquifer and the underlying Saugus formation.

When first proposed two decades ago, federal review found the Cadiz project to have significant environmental impacts on the California desert, and the Metropolitan Water District voted to reject it.

Today, while California is implementing its new approach to manage groundwater sustainably and Southern California communities are increasing local water sources and conservation measures, the Trump administration has taken a significant interest in California’s groundwater through swift actions related to the Cadiz proposal.

In just five months, the Cadiz project climbed the ladder toward the top of the Trump administration’s policy goals. In December 2016, Cadiz lobbyist David Bernhardt was tapped to head up Trump’s Interior Department transition team. In January 2017, this water project appeared on an “Emergency & National Security” infrastructure priority list created by the transition team. The following month, the Trump administration rescinded existing policies that ensured Cadiz and other companies could not evade the standard federal environmental review for projects that use public land and propose harm to national parks and monuments.

And just last month, Bernhardt was nominated by Trump to become Deputy Secretary of the Interior, a position that would oversee decisions involving Cadiz. This troubling path should be a wake-up call for California and its leaders.

In the desert, more so than other ecosystems, water is life. Cadiz Inc.’s estimate of how much water recharges into the aquifer every year is grossly exaggerated for a project that proposes to pump more than 16 billion gallons of water each year for 50 years.

The National Park Service has expressed grave concerns about impacts of this pumping to desert springs that connect to Mojave Trails National Monument and the Mojave National Preserve, the third largest national park site in the lower 48 states. The National Park Service recently concluded that the company’s estimated recharge rates “are not reasonable and should not even be considered.” The United States Geological Survey determined Cadiz’s estimated recharge rate for the aquifer was up to 10 times inflated.

Considering the ramifications of the project to our water and public lands, it is important to ask who is conducting the aquifer recharge research and who benefits from the outcome. The Park Service and the USGS, two of the most respected science-focused agencies in the nation, do not stand to benefit financially or otherwise from the Cadiz project, and they conclude the project to be harmful to the surrounding desert and its environment. The research that Cadiz Inc. relies upon has been paid for by the company.

National park lovers, desert and Southern California businesses and residents, California lawmakers and local tribes have fought this project consistently for nearly 30 years.

In California, we are beyond the days of damaging rural scenic places for unsustainable water production. In 2014, the Legislature and governor sent a clear message that groundwater in California is a precious resource that must be managed sustainably. The Cadiz project is a direct affront to this work.

California, through our Legislature and governor, must defend our groundwater management principles and ensure the Trump administration does not have the last word on our groundwater resources.

 

Linda Castro is a nature enthusiast and animal lover. She is the Assistant Policy Director for the California Wilderness Coalition and serves on the board of the SCV-based Community Hiking Club.  Her commentaries relate to California’s deserts.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. Karen says:

    So the State Water Board wants to control and meter my private well ( for one single family home) but will allow this pillaging??

    Seems Trump is part of the swamp he promised to drain!

  2. Harvey says:

    GO TRUMP!

    Those lands belong to the PEOPLE!

    Take your environmental scare tactics elsewhere lady!

    That land is for hunters, OHV and hikers!

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Thursday, Feb 2, 2023
As we step into the month of love, let's take a moment to reflect on the progress we made in January!
Thursday, Feb 2, 2023
The month of February is probably best known for the holiday of love, which falls on Feb. 14.
Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023
Santa Clarita regularly tops lists as one of the safest cities in the country. This reputation is well-earned thanks to the hardworking men and women of our Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the vigilance of our residents.
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
As I look back on 2022 and reflect on the progress we have made in our community, I could not be prouder. Last year we cut the ribbon on the city’s 36th park, Vista Canyon, which offers residents pickleball courts, a new playground and the historic Mitchell River House.
Friday, Jan 27, 2023
Anyone who has lived in another city will tell you that the events we put on in Santa Clarita are second to none. As we look ahead to the warm weather and sunshine afforded by the arrival of spring, now is a wonderful time to add some of the marquee city of Santa Clarita events to your 2023 calendar.
Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to call upon President Joe Biden and Congressman Adam Schiff to end Armenian suffering due to the Azerbaijani blockade of the Lachin Corridor, a nearly four mile road that is the only land connection between Armenia and the Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Master's men's and women's track & field teams traveled to Claremont, Calif. Saturday for the CMS Outdoor Indoor Distances Meet and came away with school records, personal bests and national championship qualifications.
Mustangs Open Track & Field Season on High Note
College of the Canyons won its second straight conference contest 64-55 over visiting Bakersfield College on Wednesday, as Jonah El-Farra and Andrew Henderson combined to put the Cougars over the top.
Cougs Win Second Straight Game with Victory Over Bakersfield 64-55
As schools throughout California struggle to secure funding to keep music and arts education afloat, Oksana Kolesnikova, an immigrant and internationally acclaimed pianist, is making sure students throughout Los Angeles County, including Santa Clarita, can experience the proven benefits that music and other extracurricular activities have to offer.
Acclaimed Pianist Offering Local After-School Enrichment Programs
SCV Water, in partnership with the Association of California Water Agencies, is pleased to introduce the Edward G. “Jerry” Gladbach Scholarship.
SCV Water, ACWA Partner to Establish Jerry Gladbach Scholarship
Kevin A. Klockenga has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
Henry Mayo Names Kevin Klockenga New President, CEO
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with Santa Clarita Sister Cities, invites local students to submit original artwork, poetry, essays/creative writing, photographs or music for the 2023 Young Artists and Authors Showcase.
City Accepting Entries for Sister Cities Young Artists, Authors Showcase
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency’s Water Resources and Watershed Committee is holding an in-person meeting Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 8: SCV Water Resources, Watershed Committee Meeting
Producer Fred Blanco brings "The Great Wildcat Jackson" to The MAIN Friday, Feb. 17-Sunday, Feb. 19
‘The Great Wildcat Jackson’ Coming to The MAIN
Child & Family Center presents its 34th annual Taste of the Town on Sunday, May 7.
Taste of the Town Tickets Benefiting Child & Family Center On Sale Now
State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Thursday he has been asked to serve as vice chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Wilk to Serve as Vice Chair of Senate Judiciary Committee
As we step into the month of love, let's take a moment to reflect on the progress we made in January!
Message from JCI Santa Clarita President Cindy Curtis
The month of February is probably best known for the holiday of love, which falls on Feb. 14.
Monthly Message from City Manager | Say ‘I Do’ at City Hall – February 2023
As you may be aware, the city of Santa Clarita awarded a new Waste Collection Services Franchise Agreement to Burrtec Waste Industries, with the new agreement becoming effective July 1, 2023 which includes all single-family, multi-family and commercial properties in the City.
City Reminding Residents of Upcoming Waste Services Changes
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday no additional deaths and 31 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with 14 additional deaths and 1,354 new cases countywide.
Thursday COVID Roundup: 31 New SCV Cases, No New SCV Deaths
1848 - SCV becomes part of the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo [treaty]
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The College of the Canyons seeks qualified individuals to serve on the Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee for a three-year term.
COC Seeks New Members for Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee
The L.A. County Department of Economic Opportunity announced the launch of their new Economic Opportunity Grant program for microbusinesses. 
More Than $54m in Grants Now Open for L.A. County’s Microbusinesses
Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, along with his California Senate Republican colleagues, is urging the California Public Utilities Commission to immediately disburse a state credit to provide customers with relief on their high natural gas bills.
Senator Wilk Urges State Action to Reduce Burdens on High Natural Gas Bills
The Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station is officially out of all auto-theft protection clubs for giveaway.
UPDATE: Auto-Theft Prevention Clubs No Longer Available
February is American Heart Month and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is kicking off the month by highlighting several milestones of the hospital’s Roberta G. Veloz Cardiovascular Center.
Henry Mayo Kicks off American Heart Month by Recognizing a Year of Milestones
Spring is close, but February often brings unpredictable winter weather that can cause blood drive cancellations and make it difficult for donors to make it to their appointments safely. 
American Red Cross February Blood Drives in Santa Clarita
The CIF-SS is looking for an exceptional individual to become Commissioner of Athletics on or about July 5.
CIF Southern Section Seeking New Commissioner of Athletics
The College of the Canyons Athletics Department has announced its 2023 Hall of Fame class of inductees with the next Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony taking place under a reimagined event format on Wednesday, March 29 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.
Perlman, Low Announced as 2023 COC Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
The Santa Clarita Valley Teacher Recruitment Fair will take place on Saturday, March 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rancho Pico Junior High School.
March 11: Santa Clarita Valley School Districts Holds Teacher Recruitment
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: