Bonanza
Spring Study

Welcome

Independent scientific review will be critical in resolving any lingering questions about the Cadiz Water Project’s possible impacts on springs in the Mojave Desert. The Cadiz Project proposes to capture groundwater beneath the Fenner Valley, at the base of a large desert watershed where there is currently an agricultural operation. The project will deliver some of that water to Southern California homes and businesses via a pipeline.

During the permitting process, concerns have been raised about the project’s impact on springs in the upper elevations of the surrounding watershed upon which plant and animal life depend. The closest spring to Cadiz operations – Bonanza Spring – is 11 miles away and 1,500 feet higher in elevation. It has become the focus of this debate and discussion.

While the project has an approved groundwater management plan and a court-upheld environmental impact report, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, a potential customer of the project, has listened to stakeholders on the issue and wants to try to resolve the debate with science. Three Valleys embarked on a process over a year ago to evaluate the project’s Groundwater Monitoring, Management and Mitigation Plan and now is supporting a study of the spring itself.

This website will track that progress and be a resource for those interested in the science. Highlighted here are significant developments and progress in the quest to provide answers. Click on the items below for more information

Scientific Analysis Completed

March 6th, 2019|

The Board of Directors of Three Valleys received a briefing on an Independent Peer Review of the GMMMP for the...

Peer Review Initiated

October 30th, 2018|

Jurupa Community Services District and Three Valleys Municipal Water District retained an Independent Peer Review Panel to evaluate the GMMMP...

Scientific Analysis Completed

March 6th, 2019|

The Board of Directors of Three Valleys received a briefing on an Independent Peer Review of the GMMMP for the...

Peer Review Initiated

October 30th, 2018|

Jurupa Community Services District and Three Valleys Municipal Water District retained an Independent Peer Review Panel to evaluate the GMMMP...

INTRODUCTION

Independent Study of the Hydrology of the Cadiz Project

The goal of the independent study is to determine the degree of hydrologic connection between the Cadiz Water Conservation and Storage Project (Cadiz Project) and Bonanza Spring. The study was commissioned by Three Valleys Municipal Water District (Three Valleys), a water wholesaler in Claremont, California, and a potential customer of the Cadiz Project.

The first phase of the study is the collaborative development of a study plan. To that end, a workshop to kick off development of the study plan was held at Three Valleys on Thursday, October 10, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Representatives from environmental groups, government agencies, water districts, and other stakeholders were invited to the workshop.

The study plan will be finalized later in October 2019. Depending on required permits, the field study is expected to begin in November 2019 and take about 9 months to complete. A report of the study will be prepared, and the findings will be presented to the Three Valleys Board in late 2020.

The study will rigorously adhere to established scientific methods of data collection, review, analysis and interpretation, and all work will be implemented in an objective, open and transparent manner.

INTRODUCTION

Independent Study of the Hydrology of the Cadiz Project

The goal of the independent study is to determine the degree of hydrologic connection between the Cadiz Water Conservation and Storage Project (Cadiz Project) and Bonanza Spring. The study was commissioned by Three Valleys Municipal Water District (Three Valleys), a water wholesaler in Claremont, California, and a potential customer of the Cadiz Project.

The first phase of the study is the collaborative development of a study plan. To that end, a workshop to kick off development of the study plan was held at Three Valleys on Thursday, October 10, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Representatives from environmental groups, government agencies, water districts, and other stakeholders were invited to the workshop.

The study plan will be finalized later in October 2019. Depending on required permits, the field study will begin in November 2019 and take about 9 months to complete. A report of the study will then be prepared and a presentation of study findings presented to Three Valleys in late 2020.

The study will rigorously adhere to established scientific methods of data collection, review, analysis and interpretation, and all work will be implemented in an objective, open and transparent manner.

Phases

Schedule – Independent Study of the Hydrology of the Cadiz Project

    Phases

    Schedule – Independent Study of the Hydrology of the Cadiz Project

      ABOUT US

      Aquilogic: Hydrology

      Aquilogic is an environmental and water resources consulting firm, providing services related to the development, management, and restoration of water resources. The company was founded in 2012 by Anthony Brown (see biography below) and is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. The professionals at aquilogic are committed to the development and application of solutions that deliver value to their clients while protecting, sustainably managing, and restoring water resources. Combining exceptional technical capability with a personal approach to service, aquilogic has proven itself as a leader in the fields of environmental and hydrological consulting services. The company differentiates itself from other engineering firms through the strategic advice it provides to clients, its exceptional technical capability, a commitment to quality client service, and its focus on “high profile” water management and contamination projects. The company’s clients include water districts, State agencies, non-profit organizations, and large landowners. For more information, visit: www.aquilogic.com.

      ABOUT US

      Aquilogic: Hydrology

      Aquilogic is an environmental and water resources consulting firm, providing services related to the development, management, and restoration of water resources. The company was founded in 2012 by Anthony Brown (see biography below) and is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. The professionals at aquilogic are committed to the development and application of solutions that deliver value to their clients while protecting, sustainably managing, and restoring water resources. Combining exceptional technical capability with a personal approach to service, aquilogic has proven itself as a leader in the fields of environmental and hydrological consulting services. The company differentiates itself from other engineering firms through the strategic advice it provides to clients, its exceptional technical capability, a commitment to quality client service, and its focus on “high profile” water management and contamination projects. The company’s clients include water districts, State agencies, non-profit organizations, and large landowners. For more information, visit: www.aquilogic.com.

      STUDY TEAM

      Anthony Brown

      Anthony is the founder, CEO, and Principal Hydrologist at aquilogic. Anthony is considered one of the leading consulting hydrologists in the world, and has worked on water projects across the United States and overseas. His career has focused on the successful development and effective management of groundwater resources, and the restoration of water resources contaminated by pollution. He has extensive experience in water rights adjudication, sustainable groundwater management, groundwater remediation, and drinking water treatment. Anthony has been accepted as an expert by both Federal and State courts and has testified in water rights disputes and water pollution matters. In particular, he has testified extensively on behalf of water districts and State agencies addressing industrial and agricultural pollution. He also testified before Congress on the Clean Water Act, and has briefed the White House, elected officials, and government agencies on groundwater pollution by recalcitrant chemicals. Anthony holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering Hydrology from Imperial College London. For more information, visit: www.aquilogic.com/founder.php.

      The Science Team

      GEOPHYSICS

      Paul Bauman

      As Technical Director of Geophysics, Paul provides technical management and direction to a group of 30 geophysicists and earth scientists investigating geophysical applications to problems in groundwater exploration, contaminant mapping, archaeology, civil and geotechnical engineering, tunnel and UXO detection, and other situations where drilling, digging, or blasting are to be minimized. Paul, who is based in Calgary, Canada, has worked on projects around the world. He holds a Master of Science degree in Hydrogeology, Geophysics from the University of Waterloo.

      ADVISIAN

      As the independent consulting arm of WorleyParsons, Advisian boasts approximately 3,100 consultants across 25 countries integrating strategy, management and technical consulting expertise with deep domain knowledge and real-world experience.

      GEOCHEMISTRY

      Dr. Ann Maest

      Ann is an aqueous geochemist with expertise in the fate and transport of natural and anthropogenic contaminants in groundwater, surface waters, and sediments. The results of her research have been published in books and peer-reviewed journals, including Applied Geochemistry and Environmental Science and Technology. She has worked at the Environmental Defense Fund and U.S. Geological Survey’s National Research Program. Ann holds a Ph.D. in geochemistry and water resources from Princeton University.

      ECOLOGY

      Tamara Klug

      Tamara is the senior botanist and Southern California operations manager for Cardno. Over nearly three decades of environmental consulting, she has developed expertise in numerous areas, including the Mojave Desert subregion, Endangered Species Act biological assessments, California Environmental Quality Act documentation, and vegetation surveys. Tamara holds a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolution from University of California, Santa Barbara.

      CARDNO

      Cardno is a global infrastructure, environmental and social development company operating in more than 100 countries and powered by a talented 6,000-strong workforce. They are united by a shared purpose to deliver exceptional professional services to improve physical and social environments that make a difference to people’s lives around the world. For more information, visit: www.cardno.com.

      The Science Team

      GEOPHYSICS

      Paul Bauman

      As Technical Director of Geophysics, Paul provides technical management and direction to a group of 30 geophysicists and earth scientists investigating geophysical applications to problems in groundwater exploration, contaminant mapping, archaeology, civil and geotechnical engineering, tunnel and UXO detection, and other situations where drilling, digging, or blasting are to be minimized. Paul, who is based in Calgary, Canada, has worked on projects around the world. He holds a Master of Science degree in Hydrogeology, Geophysics from the University of Waterloo.

      ADVISIAN

      As the independent consulting arm of WorleyParsons, Advisian boasts approximately 3,100 consultants across 25 countries integrating strategy, management and technical consulting expertise with deep domain knowledge and real-world experience.

      GEOCHEMISTRY

      Dr. Ann Maest

      Ann is an aqueous geochemist with expertise in the fate and transport of natural and anthropogenic contaminants in groundwater, surface waters, and sediments. The results of her research have been published in books and peer-reviewed journals, including Applied Geochemistry and Environmental Science and Technology. She has worked at the Environmental Defense Fund and U.S. Geological Survey’s National Research Program. Ann holds a Ph.D. in geochemistry and water resources from Princeton University.

      ECOLOGY

      Tamara Klug

      Tamara is the senior botanist and Southern California operations manager for Cardno. Over nearly three decades of environmental consulting, she has developed expertise in numerous areas, including the Mojave Desert subregion, Endangered Species Act biological assessments, California Environmental Quality Act documentation, and vegetation surveys. Tamara holds a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolution from University of California, Santa Barbara.

      CARDNO

      Cardno is a global infrastructure, environmental and social development company operating in more than 100 countries and powered by a talented 6,000-strong workforce. They are united by a shared purpose to deliver exceptional professional services to improve physical and social environments that make a difference to people’s lives around the world. For more information, visit: www.cardno.com.

      Our Study

      Study Plan and Program Principles:

      • Transparent

      • Inclusive

      • Scientific

      • Impartial

      • Independent

      • Honest

      • Collaborative

      The Study Program will be performed by a team of experts in hydrology, hydrogeology, geophysics, geochemistry, groundwater modeling, and desert ecology, supported by professionals at aquilogic.

      The full scope of the Study Program will be established by the Study Plan Team with input from project stakeholders during a Workshop (see above). At a minimum, the Study Program will likely include the following:

      • Geophysical mapping in the area immediately above, and for some distance below, the Bonanza Spring to delineate faults and other structural features.

      • Installation of monitoring wells immediately below the spring and at the edge of the Fenner Valley alluvial aquifer (one mile southeast of Bonanza Spring) to evaluate groundwater conditions at and below the spring.

      • Installation of a weather station or rain gauge in the bedrock watershed that supports flow at Bonanza Spring to evaluate the relationship between precipitation, recharge, and spring flow.

      • Installation of spring flow gauges at three springs to assess the impact of seasonal precipitation, climatic changes, and sustained pumping on future spring flow.

      • Vegetation monitoring below the spring to track changes over time.

      • Monitoring of groundwater and spring geochemical conditions to help understand the connection between Bonanza Spring and the alluvial aquifer in the Fenner Valley below.

      Our Study

      Study Plan and Program Principles:

      • Transparent

      • Inclusive

      • Scientific

      • Impartial

      • Independent

      • Honest

      • Collaborative

      The Study Program will be performed by a team of experts in hydrology, hydrogeology, geophysics, geochemistry, groundwater modeling, and desert ecology, supported by professionals at aquilogic.

      The full scope of the Study Program will be established by the Study Plan Team with input from project stakeholders during a Workshop (see above). At a minimum, the Study Program will likely include the following:

      • Geophysical mapping in the area immediately above, and for some distance below, the Bonanza Spring to delineate faults and other structural features.

      • Installation of monitoring wells immediately below the spring and at the edge of the Fenner Valley alluvial aquifer (one mile southeast of Bonanza Spring) to evaluate groundwater conditions at and below the spring.

      • Installation of a weather station or rain gauge in the bedrock watershed that supports flow at Bonanza Spring to evaluate the relationship between precipitation, recharge, and spring flow.

      • Installation of spring flow gauges at three springs to assess the impact of seasonal precipitation, climatic changes, and sustained pumping on future spring flow.

      • Vegetation monitoring below the spring to track changes over time.

      • Monitoring of groundwater and spring geochemical conditions to help understand the connection between Bonanza Spring and the alluvial aquifer in the Fenner Valley below.

      FAQs

      The Cadiz Project is on private property located at the confluence of the Fenner, Orange Blossom Wash, Bristol and Cadiz watersheds in the Mojave Desert, in eastern San Bernardino County, California. Within this closed basin system, groundwater percolates and migrates downward from higher elevations to the Bristol and Cadiz dry lakes, where it evaporates after mixing with the highly saline groundwater zone under the dry lakes. The portion of water that evaporates is lost from the groundwater basin and cannot be used. The purpose of the Cadiz Project is to conserve the substantial quantities of groundwater that are lost to evaporation and create a local water supply alternative for Southern California.

      Three Valleys selected aquilogic to lead this effort because of their knowledge of the project, their expertise, their reputation, their impartiality, and their diverse client base.

      As a potential customer of the Cadiz Project, Three Valleys wants to ensure the science behind the project is sound. The Study Program stems from recommendations made in an Independent Peer Review of the GMMMP for the Cadiz Project conducted in 2018 by Anthony Brown of aquilogic and three other groundwater experts.

      Three Valleys and Jurupa Community Services District ordered the Independent Peer Review in response to public questions and concerns. The review found the GMMMP measures were adequate and protective of natural resources but recommended additional actions to increase public confidence in the project. Those recommendations, which include pre-pumping monitoring of Bonanza Spring, will be part of the study.

      Yes, the study will be based on input from a team of scientists and technical experts who will decide how the testing and monitoring will be performed. Representatives from more than 50 government agencies, water districts, non-profits, and research organizations have been invited to develop a work plan for the study; the invitation list includes potential customers as well as opponents.

      Once the Study Plan is established, the Study Program will be conducted according to scientific standards. Aquilogic has assured Three Valleys that the outcomes of the study are NOT predetermined. They will let the data and the process be subject to transparent review, as agreed to by parties involved in the study plan. The results will provide accurate and impartial conclusions that can be used to inform decisions about the project going forward.

      A final Study Program report will be presented to the Three Valleys Board of Directors in late 2020.

      Three Valleys is using an applicant-pay model, which requires the project proposer (Cadiz) to reimburse the agency for the work of the independent consulting team.

      FAQs

      The Cadiz Project is on private property located at the confluence of the Fenner, Orange Blossom Wash, Bristol and Cadiz watersheds in the Mojave Desert, in eastern San Bernardino County, California. Within this closed basin system, groundwater percolates and migrates downward from higher elevations to the Bristol and Cadiz dry lakes, where it evaporates after mixing with the highly saline groundwater zone under the dry lakes. The portion of water that evaporates is lost from the groundwater basin and cannot be used. The purpose of the Cadiz Project is to conserve the substantial quantities of groundwater that are lost to evaporation and create a local water supply alternative for Southern California.

      Three Valleys selected aquilogic to lead this effort because of their knowledge of the project, their expertise, their reputation, their impartiality, and their diverse client base.

      As a potential customer of the Cadiz Project, Three Valleys wants to ensure the science behind the project is sound. The Study Program stems from recommendations made in an Independent Peer Review of the GMMMP for the Cadiz Project conducted in 2018 by Anthony Brown of aquilogic and three other groundwater experts.

      Three Valleys and Jurupa Community Services District ordered the Independent Peer Review in response to public questions and concerns. The review found the GMMMP measures were adequate and protective of natural resources but recommended additional actions to increase public confidence in the project. Those recommendations, which include pre-pumping monitoring of Bonanza Spring, will be part of the study.

      Yes, the study will be based on input from a team of scientists and technical experts who will decide how the testing and monitoring will be performed. Representatives from more than 50 government agencies, water districts, non-profits, and research organizations have been invited to develop a work plan for the study; the invitation list includes potential customers as well as opponents.

      Once the Study Plan is established, the Study Program will be conducted according to scientific standards. Aquilogic has assured Three Valleys that the outcomes of the study are NOT predetermined. They will let the data and the process be subject to transparent review, as agreed to by parties involved in the study plan. The results will provide accurate and impartial conclusions that can be used to inform decisions about the project going forward.

      A final Study Program report will be presented to the Three Valleys Board of Directors in late 2020.

      Three Valleys is using an applicant-pay model, which requires the project proposer (Cadiz) to reimburse the agency for the work of the independent consulting team.

      Stay Informed

      Get updates on the latest milestones and phases of the study.

      Stay Informed

      Get updates on the latest milestones and phases of the study.