News: Santa Margarita Water District Approves Joint Powers Agreement with Cadiz and Fenner Valley Mutual Water Company Creating the Fenner Valley Water Authority

JPA approval is another crucial step forward in Project implementation timeline

November 18, 2014 –   The Board of Directors of the Santa Margarita Water District (“SMWD”) voted on Friday, November 14, 2014 to approve a Joint Powers Agreement (“JPA”) with Cadiz Inc. and the Fenner Valley Mutual Water Company establishing the Fenner Valley Water Authority (“FVMA”), an entity that will control and operate the capital facilities for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery & Storage Project (“Project”) following construction.  Once built, Cadiz will lease the Project facilities to the FVWA (the JPA).  SMWD, in its role as the managing agency of the FVWA, will retain control over the facilities, including day to day operation of the well field, and carrying out the Project’s compliance with the approved groundwater management plan that will be enforced by the local county government.

In an announcement about the establishment of FVWA, SMWD described the JPA as an important next step forward in the Project’s implementation process that will allow necessary planning and engineering tasks to move ahead.  To view SMWD’s announcement, click here.

SMWD, the second largest water agency in Orange County, served as the lead agency for the Project’s environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).  In July 2012, following an 18-month public review process, the SMWD Board of Directors unanimously approved the Project, certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) and also approved the Project’s groundwater management plan.  In September 2014, SMWD’s approvals of the Project and the Final EIR were upheld by the California Superior Court which denied all bases for legal challenge.

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