SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – A California appeals court has upheld a decision to allow the transfer of Mojave Desert groundwater to homes and businesses in Southern California.

A three-judge panel in Santa Ana ruled Tuesday that the pact to sell water to agencies including the Santa Margarita Water District in southern Orange County didn’t violate state law for environmental reviews.

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Cadiz Inc., a private company based on Los Angeles, plans to ship up to 75,000 acre feet of fresh groundwater a year using new wells in the Cadiz and Fenner valleys in San Bernardino County and a 43-mile pipeline. That’s enough water to supply about 150,000 homes.

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The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group, and Delaware Tetra Technologies Inc., which operates a Mojave Desert salt mine, sued to block the project.

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