Today the internationally respected environmental firm CH2M Hill will unveil the findings of a comprehensive year-long study measuring the vast scale and recharge rate of the Cadiz aquifer system. The study, to be presented at a conference of the Association of Ground Water Agencies and American Ground Water Trust, describes a groundwater basin consisting principally of an alluvial and carbonate aquifer ranging in size between 17 and 34 million acre-feet, a volume of water larger than Lake Mead, the nation’s largest surface reservoir.
The findings also confirm the presence of highly permeable limestone carbonate rock lying beneath the alluvium, which contributes significantly to the productivity of the aquifer system.
CH2M Hill’s findings have been peer-reviewed by leading hydrology experts and the results corroborated by extensive field research and pump testing involving the excavation of four borings and test wells to depths of between 1,000 and 1,947 feet beneath the earth’s surface. Based on this study of natural recharge in the aquifer system, Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) will develop a groundwater management plan providing for the safe long-term annual withdrawal of 50,000 acre-feet of water each year, an amount that can sustainably supply the total water needs of 400,000 Southern California residents.
“This is the most comprehensive study of the hydrogeology of the watershed ever undertaken, based on recent field data and on the best and latest science,” said Terry Foreman, CH2M Hill’s Senior Hydrogeologist. “In the initial phase of the study, we’ve concentrated on developing a watershed model to determine the total volume of water in storage and the long-term yield that can be safely recovered on a sustainable basis. We had the benefit of a recently published U.S. Geological Survey (“USGS”) watershed model, fresh technical surveys conducted by the federal government, and an array of new data obtained from climate research. The application of the USGS model clearly supports the conclusion that the Fenner Valley includes a deep and dynamic aquifer system holding a significant and renewable water supply.”