Economic Impact Report finds creation of green jobs in High Desert generates more than $878 million in San Bernardino County economic activity
LOS ANGELES, CA (May 24, 2011) – Today Cadiz Inc. [NASDAQ: CDZI] (“Cadiz”) announced the release of a report by prominent economist John E. Husing, Ph.D. which found that the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“Project”) would create and support over 5,900 jobs, generate more than $878 million in economic activity over its two phases, and infuse tens of millions in tax revenue to local governments. The Project is designed to provide renewable local groundwater to Southern California communities by building a wellfield and pipeline on privately owned land to deliver water to the Colorado River Aqueduct. A second phase of the Project would provide approximately one million acre-feet of underground storage for imported water.
“The construction phase of the Cadiz Valley Water Project would create a cumulative total of nearly 6,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs over the four years of effort, to tap into San Bernardino County’s extensive labor supply, where the high desert unemployment was 16.4% in March 2011. It would also support local manufacturers of materials used in construction of wells, pipelines, and power generation, with a net local four year economic impact of $878 million,” said Dr. Husing. “Over the long term, the Project also would significantly increase property tax revenue, annually increasing tax revenue to San Bernardino County by approximately $5.4 million per year, and approximately $613,000 to the Needles Unified School District.”
“The Cadiz Project would bring exactly the kind of quality green jobs we need in our area, and support Fontana’s local manufacturers. I am very impressed by the report and encouraged that the Cadiz Project offers a new opportunity to help the local economy bounce back,” said Fontana Mayor Aquanetta Warren.
Over 45 years, Dr. Husing has focused his work primarily on the Inland Empire, studying the economy and demographic trends in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. His report released today analyzed the year-by-year results of the Project’s design and construction, considering annual expenditures, direct, indirect and induced job creation, and the long-term increase in property tax value over the life of the Project. The report, available at http://cadizinc.wpengine.com/econ-impact-report, was prepared in advance of final design for the phased project. The environmental impacts attributable to the expected job creation will be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Report for the Project taking into account Project phasing and final design.
The job creation and economic impact findings are based on an estimated construction cost of approximately $278 million for the conservation and recovery phase of the Project, and an estimated construction cost of approximately $258 million for the second imported water storage phase. Dr. Husing found that this investment would directly create quality engineering, construction and manufacturing jobs at the Project area and additional employment opportunities in the surrounding communities as the Project’s vendors and workers spend their earnings locally. Altogether the ripple effect of Project construction totals more than $878 million in new economic activity in San Bernardino County.
“The Inland Empire’s recovery depends on jumpstarting the construction and manufacturing sectors which are our primary economic engines,” said Bob Van Valer, President of Roscoe Moss Company. “The Project comes at a time when we need it most and presents a unique opportunity for the County to support local vendors and job creation.”
“Our industry is currently suffering from three consecutive years of declining markets, and this Project represents nearly a full year of production for our employees and our local supply partners in the Adelanto/Victorville community,” said Gary Stokes, President, Water Transmission Group, Northwest Pipe Company.
“Families in San Bernardino County have been hit hard by the weak economy, especially the lack of jobs in the construction industry, and we are excited by the opportunity to get people to work in good green jobs building this project,” said Richard Sierra, area Business Manager of the Laborers International Union.
The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.nr0.htm). In April 2011, San Bernardino County’s unemployment rate was estimated at 13.3% (http://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/urate201105.pdf). Case-Shiller recently named the area one of the five worst housing markets in the nation.
About the Project
The Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project is designed to capture and conserve thousands of acre-feet of native groundwater currently being lost to evaporation through an aquifer system beneath Cadiz’s property in eastern San Bernardino County, California. By implementing established groundwater management practices, the Project proposes to create a sustainable annual water supply for Project participants. In addition, the Project offers storage capacity that can be used by participants to carry-over – or “bank” – annual supplies, without the high rates of evaporative loss suffered by local surface reservoirs. Project facilities will be built on Cadiz’s property and other privately-owned land in the area. A Groundwater Stewardship Committee comprised of leading hydrology, geology, and environmental experts has been assembled to oversee the Project’s operating and monitoring program, which will ensure the environmental sustainability of the Project and safeguard nearby federal lands and pristine desert.
The Project is currently in a CEQA environmental review and permitting phase led by Santa Margarita Water District (“SMWD”). A Notice of Preparation (“NOP”) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (“DEIR”) formally commencing the public portion of the CEQA process was issued in February 2011 by SMWD, and a 30-day scoping period was initiated. Two public scoping meetings were held in March 2011. Preparation of the DEIR is ongoing and the document is expected to be released for public comment in the coming months.
About Cadiz Inc.
Founded in 1983, Cadiz Inc. is a publicly-held renewable resources company that owns 70 square miles of property with significant water resources and clean energy potential in eastern San Bernardino County, California. The Company is engaged in a combination of water supply and storage, organic farming and solar energy projects. In 2009 Cadiz adopted a wide-ranging “Green Compact” to implement environmental conservation and sustainable management practices at its properties. For more information about Cadiz, visit www.cadizinc.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including statements related to the future operating and financial performance of the Company and the financing activities of the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those reflected in the Company’s forward-looking statements include the Company’s ability to maximize value for Cadiz land and water resources, the Company’s ability to obtain new financing as needed, and other factors and considerations detailed in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
Contact: Courtney Degener, 213-271-1603