07:31 GMT +318 July 2018
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    Setting sun is reflected on the surface of the Salton Sea in the Southern California desert

    Watchdog Sues DoI Over Plans to Tap Desert Aquifer in California

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    A lawsuit has been filed seeking documents explaining the US Interior Department’s (DOI) approval of a project to tap a desert aquifer in the southwestern United States to provide water for new developments in the US state of California without conducting an environmental assessment, Food and Water Watch said in a press release on Tuesday.

    "These records could shed light on the Trump administration’s abrupt decision to allow an enormous California groundwater-mining scheme, Cadiz, Inc., to move forward without environmental review," the release said.

    The release claimed that the Interior Department and the department’s Bureau of Land Management had failed to comply with numerous requests under the Freedom of Information Act during the past year for records on the Cadiz project.

    The project aims to tap into a "fragile" desert aquifer to draw 16 billion gallons of water annually for a 43-mile pipeline to developments in southern California, the release explained.

    Late last year, the Trump administration reversed two Obama-era decisions, which paved the way for the Cadiz project to go forward, the release said.

    Numerous multiple Freedom of Information Act requests have been over the past year for information about the Cadiz project, but Neither the Interior Department nor the Bureau of Land Management has complied with the requests, the release added.

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    Tags:
    environment, water, desert aquifer, lawsuit, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Food and Water Watch, Bureau of Land Management, California, United States
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