Cadiz Inc., the Los Angeles company trying to pump and sell groundwater out of a remote Mojave Desert aquifer, has cleared another hurdle as San Bernardino County officials approved its plan.
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to approve Cadiz’s plan to pump 50,000 acre-feet of water a year out of the aquifer as long as Cadiz monitors the impact of the water withdrawals on the surrounding desert and wildlife.
Cadiz plans to pump the water out of the aquifer and send it to about 400,000 households. The plan is a scaled-down version of a massive water storage and transfer project that the Metropolitan Water District rejected a decade ago.
In July, the Santa Margarita Water District in South Orange County certified the project’s environmental impact report.
But the project still faces several hurdles, including legal challenges from environmental groups, opposition from U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco, and MWD approval for use of its pipeline.
Cadiz may also be on the hook for expensive groundwater treatment to reduce the amount of toxic hexavalent chromium before a more stringent state standard takes effect.