Rancho Santa Margarita CA (July 25, 2012) – Close to 2,000 South Orange County, California residents and customers of the Santa Margarita Water District (“SMWD”) have expressed strong support for the Cadiz Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“Project”) to the SMWD Board of Directors, which will review the Project’s environmental documents tonight.
South Orange County residents sent in reply cards they received through mailings or door-to-door visits to their homes by project advocates. The outreach program was carried out by Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) in concert with the South Orange County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Coalition.
“It is gratifying but not surprising to see such strong support from our community for this project,” said Chamber and Coalition CEO James Leach. “People here understand our economy and lifestyle are vulnerable because we have no local water supply, and they want SMWD to approve the project so we can have a safe and reliable new water source.”
Laer Pearce, a 22-year SMWD customer who has been involved in the outreach campaign, said, “Having over 1,900 people sign support cards is one of the largest outpourings of public support I have seen in my 30-year career in public affairs.”
In addition to the outpouring of support from South Orange County residents, nearly 500 support cards from the Hi-Desert region of San Bernardino County, which is local to the Project area, have also been received as part of outreach efforts.
About the Project
The Cadiz Project will provide a new, reliable water supply for approximately 400,000 Southern Californians by capturing and conserving groundwater that will otherwise be lost to evaporation from a vast aquifer system beneath private property owned by Cadiz Inc. in California’s Mojave Desert. In its first phase, the Project will deliver up to an average of 50,000 acre-feet per year to Southern California water providers, including SMWD, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Suburban Water Systems, Golden State Water Company, Jurupa Community Services District, and California Water Service Company. The Arizona & California Railroad Company, which owns and operates the railroad right-of-way to be used by the Project’s proposed water conveyance pipeline, will also receive water from the Project. A second potential future phase of the Project offers approximately one million acre-feet of aquifer storage capacity that can be used to carry-over, or “bank,” annual supplies, without the high rates of evaporative loss suffered by local surface reservoirs.
To safeguard the environment, the Project includes an extensive monitoring and mitigation program that will be independently enforced by the County of San Bernardino and SMWD. All Project facilities, including a wellfield and 43-mile pipeline to the Colorado River Aqueduct, will be built on private land and avoid any critical habitat.
About Cadiz Inc.
Founded in 1983, Cadiz Inc. is a publicly-held renewable resources company that owns 70 square miles of property with significant water resources and clean energy potential in eastern San Bernardino County, California. The Company is engaged in the development of water supply and storage projects and operates an organic farm in the Cadiz Valley. In 2009 Cadiz adopted a wide-ranging “Green Compact” to implement environmental conservation and sustainable management practices at its properties. For more information about Cadiz, visit www.cadizinc.com.