Oil company sues over Mojave Desert groundwater plans

A Texas-based oil and gas company is suing over plans to pump Mojave Desert groundwater, saying its neighboring industrial salt operations will be affected.

The L.A. Times reports Tetra Technologies Inc., has filed two lawsuits to stop Cadiz Inc.'s pumping plans, which would provide enough groundwater to supply 100,000 urban Southern California homes.

Tetra says the water project's environmental review was a sham designed to escape serious scrutiny. Cadiz says it would consider buying out the salt operations and has offered to pay to drill deeper brine wells for Tetra's salt operations.

The lawsuits were cheered by conservationists and desert residents opposed to the project.

The water district will hold a public hearing July 25.