(Business Wire) LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Cadiz Inc. [NASDAQ:CDZI] (“Cadiz”, the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Los Angeles County Business Federation (“BizFed”), a grassroots alliance of more than 135 local business groups, voted at its May 19, 2015 Board meeting to support the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“Cadiz Water Project”) a public-private partnership with the Santa Margarita Water District (“SMWD”). The Cadiz Water Project will capture and conserve groundwater that is presently being lost to evaporation at the Company’s 35,000 acre-property in California’s eastern Mojave Desert and create a new supply of water for 400,000 people throughout Southern California over 50 years.
“The Cadiz Project is an innovative, sustainable water source for Southern California that will greatly benefit our economy and communities,” said Tracy Rafter, CEO of BizFed. “In order to remain one of the world’s leading economies, we must maintain a reliable water supply and we are proud to lend our support to this extremely beneficial project.”
“BizFed is a leading advocacy group in Los Angeles County, representing the region’s most respected business and trade groups,” said Cadiz President and CEO Scott Slater. “As we continue to advance project implementation, we are grateful to have the strong endorsement of such an esteemed organization.”
The Cadiz Water Project will be carried out by public water providers that serve over 1 million customers in six Southern California counties. Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Golden State Water Company, Suburban Water Systems and Cal Water Services Company have already executed agreements with the Company that will enable them to provide water from the Project to Los Angeles County businesses and residents within their service areas.
“In addition to the vital water supply benefits, Project construction is also expected to generate nearly a billion dollars of economic stimulus for the local economy, employ thousands of people and provide more than a billion dollars in water quality and water supply reliability benefits for all of Southern California, all without public subsidies of any kind.” Tracy Rafter added further.
Public support for the Cadiz Water Project continues to build as the Project nears implementation. The BizFed endorsement follows that of the Orange County Business Council, the San Gabriel Valley Legislative Coalition of Chambers, and several Southern California Congressional leaders, among others, secured over the last several months.
“The Cadiz Project is a strong example of private investment for public good, and will bring a reliable local Southern California water supply to approximately 400,000 people in the region. Designed to minimize the building footprint and with no long-term impacts to the desert environment, this project represents sustainable design and a tangible and long lasting improvement to the local water supply,” said Wes May, Executive Director, Engineering Contractors Association – a BizFed member.
An open, transparent environmental and regulatory review was completed for the Cadiz Water Project over an 18 month period from 2011 – 2012 and resulted in separate and independent approvals under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and the San Bernardino County Desert Groundwater Ordinance. In 2014, these approvals were subsequently upheld in Superior Court against six separate legal challenges brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Tetra Technologies Inc., a Texas based oil and gas company that strip mines large portions of the Cadiz and Bristol Dry-Lakes. The Cadiz Water Project is now processing final certifications prior to construction, including terms related to how water will be transported to the Project participants.
Founded in 1983, Cadiz Inc. is a publicly-held renewable resources company that owns 70 square miles of property with significant water resources in Southern California. The Company is engaged in a combination of organic farming and water supply and storage projects at its properties and abides by a wide-ranging “Green Compact” focused on environmental conservation and sustainable practices to manage its land, water and agricultural resources. For more information about Cadiz, visit http://www.cadizinc.com/.