(9-23-17) Yesterday, Senator Feinstein issued a press release regarding a risk she claims is presented by conserved water that will be delivered from the Cadiz Water Project to Southern California communities. We are stunned and disappointed by the allegations made by Senator Feinstein, which reflect a lack of understanding of the Project and disregard for state requirements that all drinking water meet federal and state standards issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the State’s Division of Drinking Water. Her statement suggests that Cadiz water might be delivered to consumers without satisfying these standards; this is irresponsible and not true.
Water quality at Cadiz is regularly tested using licensed professional laboratory services, is the subject of annual reports to San Bernardino County and was extensively surveyed in connection with the comprehensive Court-approved environmental impact report (EIR) for the Cadiz Water Project. Cadiz water quality, as described in the EIR, is below current State & Federal MCLs. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) of the Cadiz supply are considerably lower than both the MCL and the amount in the Colorado River Aqueduct (“CRA”) and would reduce the service area’s treatment requirements, a benefit valued at nearly $400 million.
Delivery of Cadiz groundwater to the CRA will be done in full accordance with applicable federal and state standards. Cost-effective and permitted treatment technologies are available to reduce constituents below existing state and federal standards should such treatment be necessary in the future. Importantly, no water from Cadiz would ever enter the CRA that does not meet all local, state and federal standards and no water will reach consumers unless it satisfies these same standards. It is misleading and shameful for the Senator to suggest that the state and federal drinking water regulatory system would or could be bypassed or that the water conserved by Cadiz will put the public at risk.