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Action Alert: Your Support for SB307 Helps Protect Mojave Desert Aquifers and Wildlife

Updated: Mar 26, 2019


The Cadiz Water Project would endanger wildlife in the eastern Mojave Desert, including desert bighorn sheep.

California Senate Bill SB 307, legislation that would help protect the Mojave Desert from water mining projects that could decimate wildlife, is moving into hearings this week. The bill is nearly identical to last year's SB 120, which had passed the Assembly, and was predicted to pass the Senate, prior to Senate President pro Tem, Toni Atkins, with help from Senator Anthony Portantino, preventing a vote on the legislation. Atkins has received campaign contributions from Cadiz Inc. and Cadiz CFO Tim Shaheen, according to the San Diego Reader.


This year, Mojave Watch urges desert residents and all Californians (and others) who care about desert wildlife; our desert national parks, monuments, and preserves; our wilderness and other public lands; and water conservation and management, to take action in support of the passage of SB 307 into law. The bill prohibits water "transfers" from a desert aquifer within the region designated, unless the State Lands Commission, in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, finds the transfer will not "adversely affect the natural or cultural resources" of federal and state lands in the region.


Read SB 307




Cadiz Inc. plans to pump 16 billion gallons of groundwater each year for 50 years from an aquifer that lies beneath the Mojave Trails National Monument, Mojave National Preserve, and Joshua Tree National Park. USGS scientists have found this would overdraft the aquifer up to 25 times over safe sustainable levels, but the Trump administration has eliminated the required federal review and placed the project among its top "Emergency and National Security" projects list.


SB 307 has its Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing this Tuesday, March 26, 2019. We would like to ask desert lovers to encourage the committee members to support this bill, to pass it out of committee and to build momentum so it will not suffer the fate of last year's SB 120, with Atkins refusing to allow it to come to the Senate floor for a vote.


UPDATE: Cadiz Inc. has proposed an amendment to SB 307, resulting in the Natural Resources Committee hearing being postponed until April 9, 2019. We will post more details as they become available.





How You Can Help


First, anyone with a Twitter account can help get the word out to committee members by tweeting these messages, or your own:

@HenrySternCA Counting on you to support #SB307! Ensure Calif’s Mojave desert ecosystem isn’t destroyed by project @LATimes calls “essentially useless & environmentally damaging.”


@GeneralRoth has right approach backed by @SenFeinstein @MayorOfLA @CAController


@SenHannahBeth Counting on you to support #SB307! Ensure Calif’s Mojave desert ecosystem isn’t destroyed by project @LATimes calls “essentially useless & environmentally damaging.” @GeneralRoth has right approach backed by @SenFeinstein @MayorOfLA @CAController


@CASenCaballero Counting on you to support #SB307! Ensure Calif’s Mojave desert ecosystem isn’t destroyed by project @LATimes calls “essentially useless & environmentally damaging.” @GeneralRoth has right approach backed by @SenFeinstein @MayorOfLA @CAController


@HertzieLA Counting on you to support #SB307! Ensure Calif’s Mojave desert ecosystem isn’t destroyed by project @LATimes calls “essentially useless & environmentally damaging.” @GeneralRoth has right approach backed by @SenFeinstein @MayorOfLA @CAController


@SenBenHueso Counting on you to support #SB307! Ensure Calif’s Mojave desert ecosystem isn’t destroyed by project @LATimes calls “essentially useless & environmentally damaging.” @GeneralRoth has right approach backed by @SenFeinstein @MayorOfLA @CAController


@BenAllenCA Counting on you to support #SB307! Ensure Calif’s Mojave desert ecosystem isn’t destroyed by project @LATimes calls “essentially useless & environmentally damaging.” @GeneralRoth has right approach backed by @SenFeinstein @MayorOfLA @CAController


@BillMonning Counting on you to support #SB307! Ensure Calif’s Mojave desert ecosystem isn’t destroyed by project @LATimes calls “essentially useless & environmentally damaging.” @GeneralRoth has right approach backed by @SenFeinstein @MayorOfLA @CAController


You may also call the offices of committee members to register your support:


SB307 Natural Resources Committee Phone Contact Information

After SB 307 is passed out of the Natural Resources Committee, it moves to the Appropriations Committee, where it must pass by May 15, 2019. You may use the following information to contact senators Atkins and Portantino, as well as your own senator, to encourage their support for SB 307.


Find your California State Representatives/Senators at http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov

SB307 Appropriations Committee Phone Contact Information


For more information:


https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/legislation-introduced-to-protect-california-desert-water-resources


https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/study-shows-cadiz-water-project-would-threaten-spring-in-national-monument


https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/public-water-expert-calls-out-cadiz-project


https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/senators-toni-atkins-and-anthony-portantino-prevent-senate-from-vote-on-protecting-the-desert


https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/new-study-finds-serious-flaws-in-cadiz-environmental-review


https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/senator-feinstein-makes-it-clear-no-cadiz-water-project


https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/department-of-fish-wildlife-voice-concerns-over-cadiz-water-project


https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2018/feb/28/radar-supports-toni-atkins/


https://www.sbsun.com/2019/02/21/bill-reintroduced-to-subject-the-cadiz-water-project-to-further-review/


https://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/17564-senator-bill-roth-introduces-california-bill-sb-307-enhances-protections-to-california-s-deserts-underground-groundwater-basins


https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=B4162AE6-6FF9-4F19-90AE-B27FDDD751C1





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