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Challenging Trump Administration’s Approval of Corporation’s Plan to Drain California Desert Aquifer

Mojave Trails National Monument.

The Mojave Trails National Monument is located east of Los Angeles, California, and spans 1.6 million acres.

Bob Wick / BLM

What’s at Stake

If allowed to move forward, the Cadiz water-mining project would drain life-giving springs in the Mojave Trails National Monument and surrounding public lands, killing vegetation and destroying key habitat for a host of desert wildlife.

Overview

The Cadiz water project, approved without environmental review, includes the construction of a pipeline through the Mojave Trails National Monument and other public lands in the area.

The Trump administration reversed two Obama administration decisions and wrongly concluded that the Cadiz project’s 43-mile pipeline did not require any federal Bureau of Land Management permits or approvals. The BLM is allowing the developer to build the pipeline within an existing railroad right-of-way, paving the way for Cadiz to pump 16 billion gallons of water a year from the fragile desert aquifer to sprawling new developments in Southern California.

If allowed to move forward, the Cadiz water-mining project would drain life-giving springs in the Mojave Trails National Monument and surrounding public lands, killing vegetation and destroying key habitat for a host of desert wildlife, including the threatened desert tortoises, bighorn sheep, Mojave fringe-toed lizards and kit foxes. Hydrologists from the U.S. Geological Survey determined that the Cadiz project is unsustainable and that the company’s privately funded study vastly overstates the aquifer’s recharge rate.

Case ID

3537

Case Updates

November 28, 2017 | Legal Document

Cadiz Complaint

Conservation and health-safety groups have filed suit in federal court challenging the Trump administration’s approval of an enormous groundwater-mining and pipeline project in Southern California. The Cadiz water project, approved without environmental review, includes the construction of a pipeline through the Mojave Trails National Monument and other public lands in the area.