A federal court has at least temporarily stifled a major water grab in Nevada, finding that the Bureau of Land Management didn’t adequately study and disclose impacts from groundwater pumping scheme by Las Vegas. At issue are losses of wetlands and wildlife habitat that would result from the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s massive groundwater pipeline development project.
Proposed bill would enable desert-killing groundwater exploitation
After failing several times to win approval for a new groundwater depletion scheme via regulatory channels, the Southern Nevada Water Authority is now pursuing a legislative water grab that could devastate fragile desert ecosystems and push some endangered species even closer to extinction.
Most recently, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected the Las Vegas bid for a new pipeline.
Assembly Bill 298 would enable for groundwater export projects that would harm prings and wetlands, degrade air quality with fugitive dust and impact existing water rights holders. During the hearing numerous members of conservation groups and the public spoke to vigorously oppose the bill. Continue reading “Thirsty Las Vegas pushes legislative water grab”→
Ruling marks another win for activist network opposing the massive groundwater pumping and pipeline plan
FRISCO — A bid by Las Vegas to drain groundwater from distant valleys took another hit this week, as the Nevada Supreme Court blocked the latest legal maneuver by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Nevada State Engineer, who petitioned the court for writs of mandamus.
The ruling is a win for critics of the SNWA pipeline project, including White Pine County, the Great Basin Water Network and local Native American tribes, who say the plan will dry up springs and groundwater needed by local communities, as well as wildlife that relies on scarce sources of water in central and eastern Nevada. Continue reading “Nevada Supreme Court rejects Las Vegas water grap”→
New lawsuit filed to void federal OK for proposed desert pipeline
FRISCO — A recent ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court appears to reinforce arguments by conservation advocates that a scheme to develop and pipe groundwater to Las Vegas can’t pass scientific, environmental or legal muster.
According to federal studies, the groundwater pumping, hundreds of miles north of the city, would destroy more than 137,000 acres of wildlife habitat by lowering groundwater tables by up to 200 feet in many areas — all to fuel unsustainable growth in the desert metropolis.
Groups say diversion plan lacking adequate environmental analysis
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Nowhere is water more precious than the desert, where a tiny oasis can be the only source of sustenance in thousands of acres. Most people intuitively understand the value of water in dry regions, but Las Vegas and Nevada state water officials just don’t get it.
State engineer approves Las Vegas plan to pump groundwater from remote basins
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — It was almost inevitable that state officials in Nevada would approve a controversial groundwater pumping scheme that will suck the water out of various aquifers, and could extinguish the surface life that depends on precious moisture in the desert.
After all, sustainable development has never been a Nevada hallmark, and Las Vegas — despite occasional propaganda campaigns suggesting otherwise — is the very antithesis of sustainability.
But this week’s decision by the Nevada State Engineer will have serious consequences for rare ecological communities that depend on groundwater, drying up springs, creeks and upland plant communities. The project is, by most measures, an environmental train wreck in the making. Continue reading “Opinion: Nevada aims to suck itself dry”→