Leading National Panel Of Groundwater Experts Assembled To Ensure Sustainability And Environmental Stewardship Of Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery And Storage Project

Today Santa Margarita Water District (“SMWD”) and Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ:CDZI) (“Cadiz”) announced the formation of a 13-member Groundwater Stewardship Committee (“GSC”) comprised of leading experts who will guide the design of an operating plan and mitigation and monitoring program for the Cadiz Valley Groundwater Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“the Project”). SMWD is serving as the lead agency of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) review for the Project, which proposes to provide a new, reliable water supply for SMWD and other Southern California communities by capturing and conserving thousands of acre-feet of native groundwater currently being lost to evaporation from an aquifer system located beneath Cadiz’s property in California’s Mojave Desert. The operating plan and monitoring program will ensure that the Project is both sustainable and not harmful to the desert and watershed environment.

Members of the GSC have been drawn from various sectors and include members of regulatory institutions, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the professional groundwater industry, all with extensive experience on similar projects. SMWD has named Charles Groat, former head of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences, as its representative on the panel. The GSC is being chaired by Dr. Jack Sharp, Dave P. Carlton Centennial Professor of Geology at the University of Texas.

“I am pleased to lead the Groundwater Stewardship Committee,” said Dr. Sharp. “For over 18 months I have been engaged in the comprehensive study of the aquifer system at the Project area, and I am confident that the GSC will help ensure the safe, sustainable operation of the Project.”

“The Cadiz Valley Water Project represents a unique opportunity to conserve groundwater presently lost to evaporation and provide for the future storage of imported water. We are honored that this best-in-class panel of expert advisors have agreed to help us ensure that the Project is designed, independently peer-reviewed and managed according to the best groundwater management practices and without harm to the surrounding environment,” said John Schatz, General Manager of SMWD.

The following experts have agreed to serve as members of the GSC:

NAME   BACKGROUND
Institutional & Regulatory  
  • Charles Groat
Former Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (1998 – 2005)
  • Rod Banyard
Retired Executive Director - West Australia Waters and River Commission; Professional Civil Engineer
Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Andrew Stone
Executive Director, American Ground Water Trust
  • Gregory Thomas
Founder and President, The Natural Heritage Institute
Academia
  • Jack Sharp, Ph.D. (CHAIR)
Dave P. Carlton Centennial Professor of Geology, University of Texas
  • Steven McCaffrey
Distinguished Professor - University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; Scholar and Counselor - Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Robert Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer & Adjunct Instructor of Water Policy - Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Bill Blomquist, Ph.D.
Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Professor of Political Science & Adjunct Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs - Indiana University
Industry Professionals
  • Terry Foreman
Vice President - CH2M HILL; Professional Geologist and Certified Hydrogeologist
  • Dennis E. Williams, Ph.D.
Founder and President - GEOSCIENCE Support Services Inc.;

Professional Geologist and Certified Hydrogeologist
  • Tim Parker
President, Parker Groundwater, Inc.: Professional Geologist, Certified Engineering Geologist and Certified Hydrogeologist
  • Toby Moore, Ph.D.
Water Resources Manager/Chief Hydrogeologist - Golden State Water Company; Professional Geologist and Certified Hydrogeologist

In addition, the County of San Bernardino has been invited to appoint a member to the GSC.

The GSC will evaluate historical and recently collected field data and modeling work and provide advice and recommendations for an optimal groundwater management strategy for the Project area, located at the base of the Fenner Valley and Orange Blossom watersheds in eastern San Bernardino County. Specifically, the GSC will review the Project’s proposed operating plan, which will specify where the Project’s wells, pipeline and other facilities will be constructed, how much water will be withdrawn in various conditions and how water supplies will be measured. It will be based on the latest science and incorporate the results of recent exploratory work and pilot operations. The GSC will also provide recommendations for the Project’s groundwater monitoring program, which will consider any potential environmental impacts of Project operations and provide measures to prevent adverse impacts.

The work of the GSC is being conducted concurrently with the Project’s CEQA environmental review and permitting process, which is underway. 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 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 will be released for public review and comment following consideration of all comments received during the scoping period. To view a copy of the NOP, visit http://www.smwd.com/assets/downloads/cadiz-nop-02-25-11.pdf.

About SMWD

Santa Margarita Water District is the second largest retail water agency in Orange County providing water and wastewater treatment services to more than 155,000 residents and businesses in Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Las Flores, Ladera Ranch and Talega. For more information about SMWD, visit http://www.smwd.com/

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.

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 will create a new, sustainable annual water supply for Project participants, which includes SMWD, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Suburban Water Systems and Golden State Water Company. In addition, the Project offers approximately one million acre-feet of 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. Safeguarding the preservation of nearby federal lands and pristine desert, Project facilities will be built on privately-owned land.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including statements related to the future operating and financial performance and the financing activities of Cadiz Inc. Although Cadiz believes that the expectations reflected in its 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 Cadiz Inc.’s forward-looking statements include its ability to maximize value for its land and water resources, its ability to obtain new financing as needed, and other factors and considerations detailed in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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Copyright Business Wire 2010

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