Blueprint 2025 says that it joined the North American Building Trades Unions( NAABTU) in a written request to the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Transportation seeking action in support of the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery & Storage Project, a priority infrastructure project for both organizations and for the country.
The Cadiz Water Project is a public-private partnership that will provide clean, reliable water to 400,000 people in Southern California by conserving groundwater presently lost to evaporation and salinization in the Mojave Desert. The project, which will be privately-financed, will serve a critical supplemental water supply need in Southern California and help the region better address its chronic water supply challenges.
According to Norman F. Anderson, chairman of Blueprint 2025, “The Cadiz Water Project is a tremendous example of the kind of creative solutions that a motivated private sector developer brings to public value creation.”
In addition to the generation of 6,000 jobs over the two phases of the project, with jobs reserved for building trades unions and veterans, over the long-term, the project will add $6 million per year to the local tax base and contribute $6.1 billion in economic benefits to water rate payers benefitted by the availability of this additional water supply.
In 2015 the project was stalled by a regulatory ruling challenging the project’s planned use of an existing railroad right-of-way for a 43-mile water conveyance pipeline. For more than 100 years, railroad rights-of-way have been used as preferred corridors for longitudinal infrastructure including water and sewer lines. Shared use of existing corridors is a smart policy that protects the environment and eases the already significant permitting burden for infrastructure projects.
On March 1, 2017, 19 congressional representatives from 10 states wrote to the Interior Department to request that they withdraw the 2015 Cadiz ruling. In a letter in late September, Blueprint 2025 and NABTU joined in these requests to remove the bureaucratic uncertainties surrounding the sensible use of existing corridors for infrastructure.
CG/LA CEO Norman Anderson and NABTU general president Sean McGarvey jointly stated: “Projects that meet every test and survive rigorous environmental review should be applauded, not impeded. We support the Cadiz Water Project and stand in ardent opposition to those that seek to delay or deny it. We urge Interior and the Administration to make right the BLM’s unfortunate historic treatment of this important project.”
To view a copy of the letters sent to Secretaries Zinke and Chao, click here.