Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ: CDZI) today reported the release of the Final Environmental Impact Report (“Final EIR”) for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“Cadiz Project”). The Final EIR was issued by the Santa Margarita Water District (“SMWD”), a Southern California water provider and lead agency of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) permitting process for the Project.
The Final EIR responds to comments received from the public regarding the draft environmental documentation that was issued by SMWD in December 2011. SMWD will hold a public hearing on July 25, 2012 regarding the Final EIR and consider certification of the document. Details about the hearing and a copy of the Final EIR are available at www.smwd.com. At the public hearing, SMWD will also consider approval of the Project’s Groundwater Management, Monitoring, Mitigation Plan and a Purchase and Sale Agreement. The Purchase and Sale Agreement between Cadiz and SMWD outlines economic terms for SMWD’s participation in the Project and establishes rights and responsibilities for Project implementation and operation.
The Cadiz Project will provide a new, reliable water supply for approximately 400,000 Southern Californians by capturing and conserving groundwater that will otherwise be lost to evaporation from a vast aquifer system beneath private property owned by Cadiz Inc. in California's Mojave Desert. In its first phase, the Project will deliver up to an average of 50,000 acre-feet per year to Southern California water providers, including SMWD, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Suburban Water Systems, Golden State Water Company, Jurupa Community Services District, and California Water Service Company. The Arizona & California Railroad Company, which owns and operates the railroad right-of-way to be used by the Project’s proposed water conveyance pipeline, will also receive water from the Project. A second potential future phase of the Project offers approximately one million acre-feet of aquifer storage capacity that can be used to carry-over, or “bank,” annual supplies, without the high rates of evaporative loss suffered by local surface reservoirs.