Senator Roth’s Bill to Protect the Mojave Signed into Law

July 31, 2019

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Senator Richard D. Roth’s (D-Riverside) Senate Bill 307 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. SB 307 protects the California Mojave National Preserve by hitting the pause button on a controversial pumping project backed by Cadiz, Inc. which proposes to pump an average of 50,000 acre-feet of water per year for 50 years from the Mojave to sell to water districts up to 200 miles away in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties for profit. Serious concerns have been raised about the sustainability of the proposed pumping rate as it sharply differs from conclusions reached by independent studies of the Mojave area. 
 
“I am ecstatic that Governor Newsom signed this critical bill,” said Senator Roth. “The passage of SB 307 will ensure that the project’s conflicting, underlying science is reviewed and reconciled by independent scientists so we do not allow irreparable harm to our fragile desert ecosystem.”

Cadiz’s own scientific reports indicate they will be pulling more water from the aquifer than nature puts back in – in fact, about 6 billion gallons of water per year more. Further, studies by the US Geological Survey and the National Park Service suggest the recharge rate is closer to 2,000 to 10,000 acre-feet per year – at least 40,000 acre-feet per year less than the Cadiz plan. 
 
“We cannot afford to get this wrong. It is critical to allow independent scientists to review the scientific evidence in order to resolve the conflict. I applaud Governor Newsom for signing SB 307 and proactively protecting a National Treasure – the Mojave – from man-made destruction,” continued Senator Roth. 

SB 307 has received enthusiastic support from U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Labor Leader Dolores Huerta, and a host of groups that advocate for environmental protections and justice. Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) and Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) are principal co-authors. Additionally, it has been favorably editorialized by the Los Angeles Times. 

 
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Senator Richard D. Roth represents the 31st State Senate District, which includes the communities of Corona, 
Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, March Air Reserve Base, Moreno Valley, Norco, Perris and Riverside. Prior to his election, he served for 32 years in the United States Air Force, retiring in 2007 in the grade of Major General.