The Cadiz Basin can be managed in an environmentally sustainable manner, setting a model for groundwater basins all across California
Studies Show Cadiz Water Project Won't Harm the High Desert Environment
A team of independent scientists and biologists spent more than two years conducting significant technical analyses and field surveys of the Cadiz basin and surrounding areas in preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project. The report used the newest U.S. Geological Survey models for desert hydrology, considered peer-reviewed technical studies and independently collected data to analyze the project. The report conclusively found project operations will avoid any significant impacts to desert resources, including critical resources of the desert environment such as vegetation, mountain springs, and water and air quality. Ongoing monitoring of the aquifer will establish pumping rates to ensure the project remains safe and sustainable.
Independent Scientific Experts Agree
Cadiz went a step further to ensure the project will be safe and sustainable. It convened a Groundwater Stewardship Committee comprised of leading academics and scientists in geology, groundwater, hydrology, water regulation and environmental protection to review the project's technical analysis. The committee considered four potential impact areas: springs, subsidence, air quality and water quality, as well as the project's operating plan and monitoring program. After completing its review, the independent experts concluded that with long-term management and monitoring, the project could offer a significant water supply to Southern California communities without harm to the desert environment.
State of the Art Monitoring Network
In order to ensure safe and sustainable management of the groundwater basin, the Cadiz Water Project will employ a comprehensive Groundwater Management, Monitoring, and Mitigation Plan.
Ongoing monitoring and management will affirm the results of the project’s initial hydrological modeling, allowing groundwater experts to verify the accuracy of projections used to design the project. Although no significant impacts to the desert environment are anticipated, the state-of-the-art plan will ensure the quick detection of unanticipated results, so they can be addressed before causing harm.
Many different types of monitoring features will be employed throughout the 1,300-squre-mile watershed area, including:
- Monitoring of three springs
- 16 observation wells
- 20 land survey benchmarks
- 3 extensometers for land subsidence monitoring
- 5 downhole flowmeter surveys
- 6 gamma-ray and dual-induction electric logs at cluster wells to determine changing conditions
- 4 nephelometers for dust monitoring
- 4 weather stations
Modeling and projections will be updated at least every five years based on the data and observations made during the actual operations of the project. Ongoing data collection will help better estimate potential impacts to groundwater levels, land subsidence and water quality to confirm that there have been no changes from the projections