Red-baiting water speculator plans to drain the Mojave of its ancient water

Who is he leaving in a lurch? That’s what I’m missing. It’s not in the article. It states some people are unhappy with this, but it doesn’t state why and how they know this will negatively effect them. Is it just a feeling? Is it just because he’s a businessman with a desire to make a (gasp) profit? Or is there an environmental impact study that shows that this will have a real negative impact on the region and shouldn’t be done?

This guy may not have the means to fix the demand for water by way of conservation. Coming up with new ways for Californians to conserve the water they have is difficult and costly. One alternative is to find a previously untapped water supply and use that. Is that really so wrong?

Well no one should take water from anywhere then. Is that what you are saying? What, we should all just use rain barrels and nothing else?

Are there only specific water sources that we should be allowed to take water from? Frankly I don’t see any reason to get all hot and bothered by something if people don’t show what the real impact is. And I feel like this article fell well short on facts. It seems to me based on what was provided in this article that people just feel that it’s wrong, and don’t like that someone is looking to make a buck of California’s drought.

I don’t believe this guy is doing this for some altruistic reason. I believe he’s looking to make a profit. And from what little information is provided in this article it seems like that’s what people are really upset about. If there’s other articles out there that provide more detail than this, please provide them.

45,000 acres, but he’s extracting 2.5 million acre feet per year at a minimum. Yes, he’ll lower the water table. the claim is that it’s okay because the groundwater feeds a dry lake bed and what is being extracted currently evaporates.

Leaving alone that evaporated water returns as rainfall which percolates down to the aquifer, recharging it, Yes, lowering the water table makes a problem for everyone around you. Wells suddenly need to be deeper and more electricity is needed for extraction. Extraction (not his, just others, his extraction cost is mitigated by the profits of selling water that others also have the same right to, but now will have to pay more to extract) becomes more costly for all.

The last time the water went down around here, by natural causes, a drought, dropping a new well cost us $2500 before piping and trenching + the eventual cost of properly disposing of the old well. That’s our cost, but we also shoulder some additional collective costs because municipalities and counties and others also must re-tool when there’s a major change in the water table.

So if this occurred in your neck of the woods, how many thousands would you be willing to part with to help with his bottom-line? Since money is your measure.


Draining aquifers is, like, a really, really bad thing with very real long-term consequences.


So what you’re saying is that’ll be someone else’s problem?

Drill baby, drill!


What are you – opposed to profit or something?


If it was bad there’d be a law against it. Everything not explicitly illegal is good!


Well, yeah. Because otherwise we end up literally destroying arable land that we use to grow things.

Severe drought was one of the main components to the Dust Bowl with the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer.


No, just opposed to another Dust Bowl. Of course, thinking about it, Dorothea Lange made a whole career out of it…

Drill baby drill!


Money is not my measure, that is a ridiculous claim. I just accept that fact that the point of business is most often to make a profit. If this happened in my area, and someone said it would drain the reservoirs that are our primary source of water, of course I would be upset. But if someone found a way to access previously untapped water that would just mean we would have more water and what harm would that cause?

Also, if it’s pumped elsewhere and used elsewhere it will evaporate elsewhere and still come back as rain.

Frankly, I’m not familiar with the mojave desert and how many farmers are farming there. I didn’t think there were many. It’s a desert after all. Does this article mention the population of the region? No. Does it mention if there are tens, hundreds, or thousands of people that will be affected by this? No. Does it mention that an environmental impact study has been performed that shows that the vast amount of farmers in the mojave desert are going to be negatively affected by this? No. Your post was far more informative than this article. If it has a real negative impact than I would be against it. This article, and Cory’s post, was like a James Cameron move, all “businessman bad, nature good” without any substance.


Well he’s been shut down by the BLM so far. That sounds like oversight and regulation. So far he’s been stopped.

Again, without any substance this just sounds like a knee-jerk response by liberals to a businessman’s desire to make a profit. There is no evidence in this article to the supposed negative environmental impact.

1 Like

Let the industry regulate itself, they’re the most knowledgeable!


The aquifer feeds the Mojave National Preserve, one of the denser forests of Joshua trees.

So I’ll speak for the trees. Find water elsewhere. Water is precious enough in the desert it doesn’t need to be shipped elsewhere.


Well it’s just basic water stuff. And it’s a common topic around here. Essentially, water is finite but unlike many other commodities it is a necessary component of life, not in the way an iPhone is but in the way that one of water’s components, oxygen, is.

So the action of commodifying water for profit motive without regard for others is generally frowned upon. Having regard for others access to water does erode profits, so the other side holds that water is only a commodity and that people who cannot afford it should not have it.

The middle ground is where we all live, but Cadiz is definitely the other side. As evidenced by their management guy’s calling his opposition “Communists”.


Forget it, @Papasan. It’s Chinatown.


He sounds like he embodies a perfect union of the negative cultural aspects of the Ferengi and the Borg.

And you’re defending him?


" the action of commodifying water for profit motive without regard for others"

You see, the first part of that I don’t necessarily have a problem with. I don’t believe people have to go into business thinking “how can I fulfill this need or demand while making the least amount of money for myself”.

It’s the second part that’s a real problem, and to make that claim, that he’s doing it without regard for others, you need to substantiate that claim. And when others block your efforts to make a buck because of the feels, and not because of the facts, then you have a right to get pissed off and call them names.

Based on Cory and Wired, he’s a meanie because he wants to make a profit, not because what he is doing actually negatively effects those around him.

A lot of the substance is implicit for those familiar with water management, where problems from draining aquifers have become so routine as not to special citation. It’s ok if you weren’t, though, because that means you got to learn something today. Hopefully @FunkDaddy, @SteampunkBanana, and others have made it possible for you to know a little more, both about water and how business works when externalities aren’t controlled for.


So far no one has shown any real negative impact of his plan. They just don’t like it because he’ll make money off it.

Again, if there’s more to this story, then please provide it. If this water supply is directly connected to some other water supply that other people are using than that should be easily documented. I didn’t realize that the mojave desert was a fertile breadbasket and that removing water from there would destroy our food supply. Strange name though, I wouldn’t call something a desert if there was tons of water and plant life in it.

Taking water from a place that has little water to begin with has a GREATER impact on the local ecosystem than taking water from a place where water is plentiful.