Statement by Seth Shteir, California Desert Senior Representative, National Parks Conservation Association

Background: The latest in a series of attempts by Cadiz Inc. to avoid federal review of its proposed water mining project was put forward this week, in the form of the “Cadiz Southeastern Railway”. This new proposal is the latest attempt by the company to meet one of the criteria stated by the Department of Interior, that the company’s proposed 43-mile pipeline along the railroad right-of-way must have a direct impact to the rail system, in order to avoid a comprehensive federal review and involvement of the United States Geological Survey.  Both Senator Feinstein and Representative Cook, along with a host of local businesses, ranchers, and elected officials, have expressed concerns project’s anticipated impacts on the Mojave National Preserve and its aquifer, and have called for federal review.

“Today’s announcement by Cadiz Inc. to create the Cadiz Southeastern Railway is as big of a mirage as the company’s use of the word ‘sustainable’ in its plans to drain 16 billion gallons of water per year from the Mojave desert to send to Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange County Water District.” 

“Cadiz Inc. states its steam train excursions would provide views of Mojave National Preserve and desert wilderness areas; yet, the Cadiz Water Project stands to forever damage these very landscapes. What’s more, the town of Cadiz itself it located more than two hours away from Palm Springs or other desert destinations; essentially requiring travelers to drive out of their way, to take a ride on a steam train to nowhere.”