Opinion: The Cadiz Project To Drain The Desert Is A Bad Idea

There’s a tiny green patch of Mojave Desert, past Barstow but before Needles, north of Joshua Tree National Park and south of the Mojave National Preserve, where groundwater pumped from an aquifer under the arid landscape irrigates several hundred acres of crops. Rainfall that seeps from the adjacent mountains is sporadic, but sufficient to replenish what is taken from the ground while still leaving enough for the natural springs that sustain the bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and other threatened species that live in the environmentally fragile region. But the private landowner, Cadiz Inc., is interested in more than growing a few lemons among the creosote and cactus.