By Bill Singleton, ECA President email: [email protected]

For the past four years, the Engineering Contractors Association, under the leadership of my immediate predecessor Dave Sorem and our staff, has been working in support of a project to bring an additional 50,000 acre feet of new water to southern California.
We are pleased that the Cadiz Water Project has reached a rare milestone –“Fully Certified” under California’s onerous Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)—following years of court action. The announcement that the project has been reviewed by the California Supreme Court and found in compliance with CEQA came last month as the appeals clock ran out on the enviro opponents of the project July 11th.

In addition to supporting the legal challenges, ECA testified at the original CEQA hearing and before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2012. We also met in Washington with officials from the Department Of Interior in Washington D.C. in 2014. At all stages we worked with our labor partners both in Washington and locally in support of the project.

Even with all this work, it’s still not a done deal, with approvals from the state and federal governments required, but we are inching closer to construction status, which is why ECA got involved in the first place.

Here’s what Dave had to say about the progress so far: “A reliable, affordable water supply is critical to sustaining the family-supporting jobs we continue to need across our region. With all CEQA challenges now behind it, the exhaustively studied Cadiz Project should be part of any regional water supply strategy and we encourage our elected officials to do all they can to support the project’s immediate construction and implementation.”

Here’s the Project

The project will convert some 70 square miles of the Mojave Desert into an underground stormwater capture basin instead of losing it to evaporation and high-salinity. Over the 50-year anticipated life of the project it will deliver enough water for 400,000 families across the region in compliance with a comprehensive groundwater management program in San Bernardino County.

The project is expected to provide nearly a billion dollar economic stimulus to the southern California economy. Noting the future regional benefits of the project, elected officials, labor organizations and business representatives applauded the court’s decision.

ECA will continue to pursue and support opportunities like the Cadiz project to improve the infrastructure and provide our members with jobs for themselves and their employees.