July 16, 2012

Environmental report released for Cadiz water project

Needles Desert Star

MISSION VIEJO — The Santa Margarita Water District released a final environmental impact report for the proposed Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project and scheduled a public hearing for Wednesday, July 25.

The meeting will be held in the Sycamore Room of the Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

A video conference option will be available in Joshua Tree in the Bell Center Community Room of Cooper Mountain College, 6162 Rotary Way. Anyone attending the video conference will also have a chance to interact and make comments related to the final EIR.

During the public hearing, the SMWD board of directors will decide whether or not to certify the final impact report pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA. The board is also asked to consider a draft purchase and sales agreement, which will further detail the financial terms for purchasing water from the proposed Cadiz project.

Thirdly, the board will be asked to consider the groundwater monitoring, management and mitigation plan, which authorizes San Bernardino County to provide separate oversight and monitoring of the proposed project.

The proposed project is two phases. The first would be to capture and conserve the Cadiz aquifer’s average annual recharge. The aquifer is under Cadiz and Fenner Valleys. Approximately 50,000 acre-feet per year would be delivered to southern California water providers. In wet years, the water district would have the option of decreasing or foregoing its water delivery for that year and carry it over to another year when it may be needed. The carry-over would be stored in the Cadiz aquifer.

The second phase of the project contemplates storage of imported water from the Colorado River in the Cadiz aquifer system. In wet years, surplus water from the Colorado River could be conveyed to recharge basins on Cadiz-owned land and would percolate into the underground aquifer for storage.

All are encouraged to attend the public hearing and to present written and/or oral comments. Letters must be received on or before the date of the hearing, or can be submitted at the hearing. Submit written comments to SMWD at 26111 Antonio Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, 92688.

For additional information contact Michele Miller at 949-459-6548 or send email to cadizproject@smwd.com.

Opponents organize transport

Transportation will be provided from Needles and Goffs to the Santa Margarita Water District Board Meeting in Mission Viejo.

Those interested in transportation on July 25 to Mission Viejo to voice their objection to the proposed Cadiz Project should contact Ruth Musser-Lopez at 760-885-9374 for the van schedule. Vans leave Needles at 10:30 a.m. on July 25.