March 22, 2022 – In celebration of World Water Day 2022, Cadiz joins the United Nation’s annual campaign started in 1993 to highlight the importance of water across the globe. According to the UN Water Program, 2 billion people are living worldwide without access to safe water. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of water and sanitation for all by 2030. This year, World Water Day is focused on groundwater and elevating the conversation about the importance of groundwater and groundwater sustainability in every community.
As the UN aptly states in its detailed report released today about the world’s groundwater resources, “groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere.” In the United States, groundwater serves as a critical resource for many industries and uses, including farms, urban and rural communities, and also supports ecosystems across the country.
Groundwater is especially important in California – where Cadiz calls home – as recurrent drought and hydrological swings exacerbated by climate change make groundwater a vital piece of the water supply puzzle in our state. Groundwater is a critical component of California’s total water supply, accounting for nearly 40 percent in a normal year and up to 60 percent during dry conditions.
In California, groundwater basins also serve as the state’s water savings account – especially during droughts. California groundwater basins have 8 to 12 times the combined storage capacity of all major above ground reservoirs in the State. In 2014, California adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which requires groundwater basins to balance pumping and recharge over the long-term.
As California enters its third consecutive dry year, following the second driest on record, groundwater will play an important role to balance shortage of surface supplies. At Cadiz we are committed to sustainably managing our plentiful groundwater resources to provide safe and reliable water access for communities in need. The aquifer system at Cadiz contains 17-34 million acre-feet in storage and has approximately one million acre-feet of capacity for additional banking – that would make it larger than Southern California’s surface reservoir Diamond Valley Lake. We presently rely on groundwater for irrigation of 3,500 acres of fruit, vegetable, grain and hemp crops. The aquifer system is so full that even with regular agricultural use, billions of gallons of water from the Cadiz aquifer system are still migrating to highly saline playas at the base of our watershed every year, wicking up through the surface and are lost to evaporation.
We are presently developing the Cadiz Water Project, an aquifer storage and recovery project that will create a new supplemental water supply for Southern California communities in need and augment regional storage capacity to help California manage the wet and dry swings now common in California.
Our proximity to the Colorado River Aqueduct and facilities of the State Water Project make our location ideal for storage of excess supplies when it is available. All of our groundwater operations are carried out in accordance with an extensive groundwater monitoring program overseen by San Bernardino County and have been sustainable since permitted in 1993. For more information, visit www.cadizwaterproject.com
Groundwater management and storage are critical components in achieving sustainable water for all as the climate changes. “Unlocking the full potential of groundwater will require strong and concerted efforts to manage and use it sustainably. And it all starts by making the invisible visible.”
To learn more about World Water Day and read the UN’s new report, visit: https://www.worldwaterday.org/stories-2021/story/launch-un-world-water-development-report
UN World Water Development Report 2022: www.unwater.org/publication_categories/world-waterdevelopment-report
International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre: www.un-igrac.org
UN-Water: Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all:https://www.unwater.org/publications/summary-progress-update-2021-sdg-6-water-and-sanitation-for-all/
FAO The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: http://www.fao.org/3/bl496e/bl496e.pdf
World Bank: Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/32245
The California Department of Water Resources SGMA website: https://water.ca.gov/Programs/Groundwater-Management/SGMA-Groundwater-Management featuring an interactive groundwater StoryMap, and this educational groundwater video.
The California State Water Resources Control Board:https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/groundwater/
The National Ground Water Association: https://www.ngwa.org/
US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on Groundwater: https://tinyurl.com/yb2fvumj
The Groundwater Foundation: https://www.groundwater.org/