On October 2, 2015, the California State Office of the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (the “BLM”), issued an “administrative determination” letter (the “October 2nd Letter”). In it, the BLM opined that the proposed Cadiz Water Project in San Bernardino County (“Cadiz”) may not locate a water conveyance within a willing railroad’s 200′ wide federally-granted right of way unless the proponents first apply to the BLM for further study and federal permission. In doing so, the BLM mishandled the legal test that applies to the Cadiz project’s proposed use of the railroad right of way.
With the implementation of the Quantification Settlement Agreement in 2003, the amount of Colorado River water available to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has been less than the capacity of the Colorado River Aqueduct (“CRA”). For example, the Bureau of Reclamation currently forecasts that Metropolitan’s use of Colorado River water will be 861,616 AF in 2015 http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/forecast15.pdf. This is 438,834 AF less than the historical maximum annual amount of 1.3 million AF of Colorado River water conveyed through the CRA. Continue reading
The Voice of San Diego ran a story today about the Cadiz Project that provides a “teachable moment” about the complexity of California water. Would the Cadiz project benefit from failure of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (“BDCP”)? The Voice says yes. Professionals know that water is complex and the impact of a Bay Delta failure is no exception. The big winner would be bi-national water projects, not Cadiz. Continue reading