Our Commitment to Sustainability
in our pursuit of solutions.
to delivering safe, affordable, and reliable water to our communities.
in building relationships with our stakeholders.
in the management and conservation of our resources.
in strategy development and operational execution.
Guided by our purpose, mission, and values; Cadiz seeks to create long-term value for our shareholders and stakeholders by being dedicated to sustainability in everything we do. This commitment to corporate responsibility aligns Cadiz with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our commitment to these goals reflects our clear vision for Cadiz’s continued commitment to sustainable practices and a greener, more equitable future. Our approach is centered around three vital pillars:
Cadiz has been a part of the eastern Mojave Desert community for over 30 years and is committed to protecting our desert environment. We pledge to manage our resources sustainably while creating significant environmental benefits from natural land preservation and the protection of desert water systems. Our goal is not just to avoid environmental harm, but to also to improve the ecosystem within which we operate. At Cadiz, we embrace our role as caretakers of our land in the Mojave Desert and will continually adapt to align with best practices and the guidelines of our key stakeholders.
We are proud of Cadiz’s Fenner Valley Desert Tortoise Conservation Bank. At 7,400 acres of habitat, it is the largest California approved land conservation bank dedicated to the mitigation of impacts of development on the desert tortoise, a state and federal threatened species. We will continue to be leaders in this area while maintaining strict adherence with all local, state and federal laws governing species protection including the federal and state Endangered Species Acts.
Please click Desert Tortoise Preserve (cadizinc.com) for more information about The Desert Tortoise Preserve.
Cadiz is committed to being part of the solution to slash carbon emissions and slow the pace of climate change. To support this effort, we are focused on powering our projects with renewable energy, including solar, wind, and hydropower, whenever possible. We will also make our lands available for leasing to commercial solar power production, hydropower and other renewable energy power generation systems that may be suitable for our contiguous desert lands or infrastructure assets.
Permanent Land Conservation
Cadiz recognizes the economic, social, and environmental benefits of land conversation. Our responsible approach to land preservation reflects our commitment to preserving our local and regional environment for current and future generations. We have pledged to offer irrevocable dedication of land surface conversation easements.
In 2021, Cadiz is celebrating 35 years of sustainable agriculture in the Cadiz Valley. We currently manage the largest agricultural operation in San Bernardino County with a crop mix of fruits, vegetables, and grains. The operation offers many partnership opportunities as well as local jobs and economic opportunity. Desert farming also offers an opportunity for soil enhancement and pesticide free, organic farming to ensure long-term desert preservation.
Strong water management is at the heart of our business and the Cadiz Water Project. Ensuring the optimal, long‐term, sustainable use of our water resources is critical to delivering on our purpose. This includes managing the groundwater supply in a manner that will not result in environmental harm. We hold ourselves accountable to strong water management practices through our principles, our transparency, and our work with partners.
Groundwater Management & Conservation
We are committed to a principled, well-governed approach to managing the groundwater at our properties in order to deliver water resources sustainably over the long-term. The Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“The Cadiz Water Project”) is designed to capture and conserve billions of gallons of renewable native groundwater flowing beneath our property in California’s Mojave Desert that is currently being lost to evaporation and salt contamination at nearby dry lakes. Through the active management of the aquifer system and employing a state-of-the-art groundwater protection program, the Project will reduce the loss of groundwater to evaporation from the dry lakes and put this water to beneficial use and create a reliable water supply for Southern California. We anticipate that The Cadiz Water Project will conserve approximately 500 billion gallons of fresh water over the 50-year life of the Project.
Please click here for more information about The Cadiz Water Project.
Our Water Project is based on a comprehensive Groundwater Management, Monitoring and Mitigation Plan (GMMMP), which was designed by leading groundwater experts, reviewed by an independent Groundwater Stewardship Committee, approved by California’s Courts, and is enforced by San Bernardino County. The GMMMP includes over 100 monitoring features and ensures continuous monitoring of groundwater levels throughout the project’s lifespan. Adjustments to address any unexpected results are a key feature of the GMMMP.
Importantly, the GMMMP protects the public interest by giving independent and final authority to the local County government. It can address any impacts or potential impacts identified by monitoring and make corrective measures when needed. The GMMMP includes a “hard floor” that will stop all operations if reached.
As evidence of the sustainability of Cadiz’s groundwater use, our 35 year agricultural operations have resulted in no significant drawdown – the water table in Cadiz in 2020 was at an all-time high.
Please click here for more information about our Ground Water Management Plan.
Resource Evaluation & Reporting
We understand that The Cadiz Water Project is of interest to and impacts many people. We are committed to regularly evaluating and reporting on the Project.
The Cadiz Water Project has undergone several public environmental reviews and approvals. We have worked hard to ensure that we understand and address the concerns of the entities that have and will continue to review our project. Please click here for more information about our public reviews and for a copy of the Santa Margarita Water District’s Final Environmental Impact Report.
In addition to regulatory reviews, we complete regular assessments of available water resources in the field by monitoring precipitation, aquifer recharge, total quantities of groundwater in storage, and the safe quantity of dewatered storage that may be made available for a conjunctive use project without harming the underlying aquifer system or ecosystems that depend upon it.
We appreciate that transparency into the Project’s operations is key to maintaining stakeholder support. Our Groundwater Management Plan, or GMMMP, includes a vast monitoring network that will supply data monthly to the Project operator, Fenner Valley Water Authority. That data will then be reviewed by a Technical Review Panel (TRP) comprised of experts appointed by the County. The Panel will advise the operator and County if adjustments to the Project’s operations are needed. All TRP reports will be made available to the public.
Local Priority of Water Use
Core to our mission, we are committed to providing reliable water access and agricultural opportunities for all Californians. The highest priority of water from the Cadiz Water Project will be given to reasonable and beneficial uses on the overlying Cadiz property, including but not limited to agriculture, domestic, environmental, or renewable energy.
In addition to immediate proximity water use, we anticipate supporting a new, safe, affordable, and sustainable water supply for 400,000 people in Southern California through the Cadiz Water Project. For more information about the many people who will benefit from the Cadiz Water Project across the Southern California community, please visit “Stakeholder Focus.” (or “Community”)
Cadiz is actively engaged with stakeholders to support sustainable long-term prosperity. The company understands and embraces its place in society and believes in the societal benefits that will come from producing reliable water for the communities in California that need it most.
Active in Local & Global Community
Cadiz actively participates in local, state, national, and international efforts to promote sustainability, particularly those efforts focused on water.
Globally, Cadiz is a member of The United Nations Global Compact (Homepage | UN Global Compact) which calls on companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.
Locally, Cadiz has a long-standing commitment to our County and ensuring benefits are realized in the places where we operate.
Our Cadiz Water Project has earned the support of more than 70 individuals, elected officials, and prominent organizations. It is expected that the Cadiz Water Project will inject $878 million into the local economy and create and support more than 3,000 jobs in its first phase. We have pledged to hire local community members, including 10% of jobs dedicated for veterans, and dedicate 80% of investment in construction materials to local San Bernardino County businesses.
Our JV partnership SoCal Hemp executed an MOU in 2020 with local Victor Valley College to support VVC’s Agricultural and Natural Resources Department’s ongoing research into best practices for farming hemp in a desert environment, while fostering practical educational opportunities for VVC students pursuing careers in the agriculture industry.
We are also active in local species preservation, including the siting of an Agassiz desert tortoise head start program at the Cadiz Ranch in partnership with the San Diego Zoo, US Geological Survey, US Bureau of Land Management and Edwards Air Force Base.
Aiding Underserved Communities
Aligned with California legislature, which views the access to clean water as a basic human right, Cadiz is focused on improving access to water in all California communities, particularly disadvantaged communities that lack reliable access to clean drinking water. According to the state of California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, more than 1 million people in California do not have reliable access to clean drinking water. Our projects seek to address the nexus of small water systems, disadvantaged communities, and poor water quality.
As part of our commitment to this effort, in 2018 the Southern California Clean Water Fund was established by the Fenner Valley Water Authority and Cadiz Inc. The $5 million private fund is dedicated to addressing water quality issues in disadvantaged communities in the five Southern California counties the Cadiz Water Project will serve upon completion. Following its own experience addressing water treatment requirements, Cadiz Inc. initiated the Fund to provide a private mechanism to supplement public funding for communities in need. Cadiz is proud to support this program which is the only dedicated private funding source for water quality issues in California. To learn more about the Clean Water Fund, click here.
Human Capital Management at Cadiz
At Cadiz, we recognize the value of attracting, developing, and retaining a focused, talented team of employees to drive our long-term success. The leadership team sets our long-term human capital management strategy, and the Compensation Committee meets with management regularly to discuss and provide oversight over important topics like diversity, equity, & inclusion, engagement, and mentorship. As a small workforce, we focus on skill sharing and experience diversity in the workplace in order to promote development, an open culture, and high employee engagement. Our employees often work directly with senior leadership and/or Board members in pursuit of business objectives, providing them with unique mentorship and development opportunities. We have a loyal, dedicated team of people that is committed to working together to fulfill our mission. To learn more about our team and leadership, click here.