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« Emily Green: Question Time for Cadiz | Main | Will SNWA Board Kill Rural Pipeline Project? »

Friday, 07 August 2009


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Hi, Laer.

Great comment – thanks.

Recharge, especially in dry regions, is not a routine quantity to estimate.

The recharge estimation issue in the Cadiz work involves the misapplication of two common techniques: 1) the Maxey-Eakin method, an empirical approach developed by Burke Maxey and Tom Eakin in 1949, specifically for Great Basin-type conditions, as is the case here []; and 2) the chloride mass-balance method

The former uses a relationship between annual precipitation and elevation to calculate annual recharge to a basin, whereas the latter uses annual precipitation and the Cl- concentrations in rainfall, dry fallout, and pore water to estimate annual recharge.

I have used both, although I have far more experience with M-E because of my Nevada experience. The Maxey-Eakin method seems kind of hokey to some but it has been shown to work well when used correctly.

As I read Attachment 1 (USGS comments) in the NPS document, the criticism against the Cadiz consultants is that they overestimated the annual precipitation in the elevation zones, which leads to an overestimate of recharge by the M-E method. The complaint against their use of the chloride mass balance is that they used a very high Cl- concentration in rainfall, which produces a very high recharge estimate. Cadiz also used a high-end estimate of the land area that actually produces recharge.

The USGS comments reference work by Mike Dettinger and Dave Prudic, two hydrogeologists I know and for whom I have great respect.

I have not read Cadiz’s Draft EIR/EIS so I cannot assess whether they misapplied the techniques. But it certainly is possible to do so.

Hope this helps.


One could reasonably conclude that having 66 years of life experience, I might have a bit of a handle on deciphering fact from fiction, but alas, increasingly I find myself disappointed I am unable to place trust in much of the disclosure reputedly honed pursuant to scientific scrutiny.

I recognized early in my life I fall into that category called – believers – those who (I make up resulting from our DNA) almost instantly believe and trust what others say. Once deceived, however, you can never completely re-attain that trust. For me in the last 40 years, principally as a result of my personal exposure, science as performed by academia has become nothing more than a shill of for-profit-corporate-interests, parroting and pandering preconceived conclusions.

When I read about Cadiz, Nestle, Coke, Halliburton, Suez, Thames, Bechtel, et al, in relation to water instantly the hair on my neck bristles and I find I am instantly on alert.

Specifically directing my comments about Cadiz … I have absolutely do doubt employed engineers, scientists, hydrologist, climatologists and other environmental professionals with a potpourri of credentials behind their names reading like whose, who. And I suspect should anyone question any conclusion they reached on any issue, they would immediately attack indicating the legendary credentials of their experts vs what they will sponsors are credentials of lesser repute of their detractors. Is this not akin to the games children play when they point their fingers and call each other names…?

Many of the water discussions in which I have participated or watched as a member of the audience, especially of late, quickly become polarized and positional, thereby effectively destroying any opportunity for meaning two-way dialogue of questions and answers. Is this not a tact which is currently being employed by some respecting how to “bust-up” any meaning conservation about the health care legislation being considered by our Congress..?

When we choose to hold discussions about water or health care in an environment without the vitriolic rhetoric allowing, even encouraging, meaningful two-way conversation, many of those obstacles seemingly unconquerable today will be quickly resolved and together we can move positively forward.

Respectfully offered for consideration,


Presumably Cadiz/BLM employed licensed professional hydrologists for the EIS studies. To what would you attribute an order of magnitude discrepancy in the projected annual recharge of the basin? Is there enough variation in the methodology to account for it?

Account Deleted

how many words to the un-wise?

(Cadiz claims contracts with agencies...)

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