CalChamber Magazine: CalChamber Backs Efforts to Diversify California Water Supply Sources

Two approaches to boosting the water available to California recently earned the support of the California Chamber of Commerce.

In keeping with CalChamber policy of supporting a comprehensive solution to the state’s chronic water shortage, the CalChamber Water Committee voted to support:

  • a project to intercept and conserve billions of gallons of groundwater beneath the Cadiz Valley in the Mojave Desert that otherwise would be lost to evaporation and salt contamination at nearby dry lakes; and
  • a City of San Diego project to use water purification technology to supplement the water it gets from sources outside the area.

Cadiz Valley

The Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project is a multi-year effort that has survived many environmental and legal challenges.

Southern California needs projects like Cadiz to diversify the region’s long-term water supply while reducing reliance on imported water and providing for more local groundwater storage.

As described on its website, the project is designed to capture and conserve billions of gallons of renewable native groundwater flowing beneath Cadiz Inc. property in California’s Mojave Desert. Water originating as precipitation on mountains surrounding the Cadiz Valley seeps underground, flows through the aquifer system and is discharged to dry lakes, where it is lost to evaporation and salt contamination.

By managing the aquifer system and using a state-of-the-art groundwater protection program, the project aims to recover enough water to serve 100,000 Southern California families and store more than 1 million acre-feet for later use.

Construction of project components over two phases is expected to create 5,900 jobs.

More information about the Cadiz Valley project is available at

San Diego

Pure Water San Diego is a multi-year program to develop a locally controlled, drought-proof water supply for a city that currently imports 85% of its water from Northern California and the Colorado River. According to the city, the cost of the imported water has tripled in the last 15 years and continues to rise.

A study and demonstration project determined it is feasible for San Diego to use water purification technology to produce a third of the city’s drinking water supply locally by 2035.

The city reports its existing water system recycles only 8% of the wastewater leaving homes and businesses. The rest is treated and discharged to the ocean. The Pure Water Program will round out the city’s water system.

More information about San Diego’s water program is available at

 CalChamber Position

In drought-stricken California, every means of providing more water supplies should be vigorously pursued. It is vitally important that all Californians have an adequate and reliable source of water while safeguarding the environment.

Staff Contact: Valerie Nera

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