Since the 1980s, Cadiz has been a leader in water conservation and sustainable agriculture in the arid soil of California’s Mojave Desert. Our 3,000-acre farm has been responsibly managed from the start and relies on a minimal amount of water sourced from an underground reservoir. We also employ innovative practices for agriculture in a desert environment. Our leading techniques in groundwater conservation are increasingly important as groundwater supplies are threatened in California and beyond. Cadiz continues to find, adopt, and teach efficient water management and agricultural practices to conserve water.

Leading Groundwater Management Practices

Responsible stewardship is key to ensuring long-term sustainable use of our water resources and critical for delivering on our purpose. We begin by actively managing the groundwater basin at Cadiz to capture groundwater that would otherwise be lost to evaporation, guided by a comprehensive groundwater management plan. Our local County of San Bernardino has overseen our groundwater use since 1993 for agricultural uses, and implemented the most advanced Groundwater Management, Monitoring and Mitigation Plan (GMMMP) for our water supply and storage program. The GMMMP is an extensive plan with leading technology and practices, including over 100 monitoring features to ensure continuous data on groundwater levels.

Sustainable Agriculture

Cadiz grows a variety of crops in one of the largest agricultural operations in San Bernardino County. Targeted irrigation systems, directed at the stem or root, minimize water loss, while advanced monitoring for groundwater supplies and other data ensure a long-term operation. A quarter of the acreage is certified organic. After thirty years of farming with well water, the aquifer is stable, as we’ve captured and repurposed water that would otherwise be lost to evaporation in the dry lakes at the bottom of the valley.

Sharing our Expertise

Cadiz works to spread this expertise far beyond the Fenner Gap. We have an extensive partnership with the Farmworkers’ Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD) that has created a technology innovation and learning center at Cadiz Ranch. The center provides hands-on, intensive instruction and work-based training in water conservation, groundwater management, and sustainable agriculture. We are helping to develop a skilled workforce that bolsters the state and country’s resilience against future climate change.

Learn more about our partnership with FIELD here

Protecting the Environment

We have 46,000 acres of properties in the Mojave Desert that we steward.
A portion of this acreage is dedicated to refining agricultural practices in an arid desert environment. As part of our commitment to sustainable agriculture, we focus on minimal water use, improved soil fertility, and avoiding pesticides and other applications that could harm the soil, water, or food quality. In accord with our permits from San Bernardino County, we regularly monitor and report on soil and groundwater conditions.

In 2015, we set aside 7,400 acres outside of the Cadiz Ranch as the Fenner Valley Desert Tortoise Conservation Bank, to protect a major habitat for generations. This is the largest California-approved land conservation bank dedicated to mitigating development’s impacts on this species. We are continuing to lead in habitat preservation according to federal and state endangered species acts.

Learn more about our environmental work here