By Jim Steinberg, The Sun
Posted: 05/10/16 – 6:53 PM PDT |

Cadiz Inc. won a decisive courtroom victory Tuesday for its plans to transfer ancient groundwater in a remote part of San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert to parts of Orange County and other locations.

California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana upheld six lower court decisions dealing with various governmental approvals and environmental reviews of the controversial water project.

“The six Court of Appeal opinions issued today continue an uninterrupted validation of the Cadiz Water Project and its mission to conserve and deliver enough water for 400,000 people without harm to the environment,” said CEO Scott Slater, of Los Angeles-based Cadiz.

“The mountains of evidence, peer review, public agency and judicial scrutiny have all determined that the project is technically and legally sound,” he said.

The Cadiz project is being developed in a partnership with the Santa Margarita Water District and other Southern California water agencies.

“We were disappointed. We thought we had a good case,” said Aruna Prabhala, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity in Oakland.

The Center challenged the project on two fronts: the California Environmental Quality Act study that was used in the approval process and a second case dealing with San Bernardino County’s approval of the project, she said.

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