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San Bernardino County OKs Mojave water project

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) – San Bernardino County officials have approved a plan to pump the Mojave Desert’s groundwater to supply it to Southern California homeowners.

The Los Angeles Times and San Bernardino Sun report that county supervisors voted 4 to 1 Monday to allow Cadiz Inc. to draw more than 1 million acre-feet from the desert aquifer over 50 years. The private company still needs permission to move the groundwater through the Colorado River Aqueduct, and it has not secured financing for the project, estimated to cost some $275 million.

Environmentalists have filed lawsuits to block the project, saying it would harm the threatened desert tortoise, bighorn sheep and the Mojave National Preserve, where some of the world’s oldest Joshua trees grow.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for a federal review of the proposal.

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