Renewable resources company Cadiz Inc. has inked an agreement with Natural Heritage Institute (NHI) to ensure the sustainable management of the largest privately-owned portion of the Mojave Desert. NHI is a global environmental organization dedicated to restoring and protecting water-dependent ecosystems.
Environmental benefits expected under the agreement include wild land preservation, clean energy and restoration of threatened water systems.
Under the “Green Compact” agreement, Cadiz, which owns 70 square miles of property with significant groundwater resources in eastern San Bernardino County, California, will work on a series of environmental initiatives. These include the permanent preservation of its lands, dedication of a portion for solar power development, plans for groundwater management and habitat conservation, and the creation of a water bank that will be used in part to restore one or more endangered aquatic ecosystems in California and the Colorado River basin.
NHI’s role will be to audit Cadiz’s performance to ensure the company meets the Green Compact’s Stewardship Principles. NHI will also consult with Cadiz in developing a set of land-management standards applicable to the design, planning, construction, and operation of Cadiz projects.
Currently, the company’s water project in California, the Cadiz Valley Dry-Year Supply Project, is touted as an environmentally responsible solution to the need for new water supplies and new water storage in California. The Cadiz Water Project is designed to provide Southern California with as much as 150,000 acre-feet/year of clean and reliable water during periods of need. The project uses a portion of Cadiz’s aquifer system in its 35,000-acre landholding in the Cadiz and Fenner valleys of eastern San Bernardino County.