The Carson Water Subconservancy District (CWSD) would like to clarify several points raised in your Feb. 22 editorial, "Hazards in Bi-State District." The subject of the editorial was the possibility of Alpine County joining the CWSD. Like many natural systems, the Carson River does not respect political boundaries, and in fact, over 85 percent of the Carson River's flow originates from the lands in Alpine County, Calif.
Alpine County is a small, water-rich county in a very thirsty state. The elected officials of Alpine County have expressed a concern for their resource, and we, as downstream recipients of the water, share Alpine County's concern that the upper portions of our watershed stay healthy and that the Carson River continues to flow east into Nevada.
Your editorial raised two points which we feel misrepresent the facts. First, CWSD, as established by the Nevada State Legislature, has no regulatory authority whatsoever, and therefore the fear of our agency becoming another TRPA is unfounded.
CWSD was founded to work in a manner that "will foster cooperation among the local governments" throughout the Carson River watershed, not provide another level of regulation.
Second, in regard to concerns raised over water rights, the apportionment of deeded water is the responsibility of the U.S. Water Master, who acts in accordance with water rights established under the Alpine Decree. CWSD has no capability to alter the decreed water nor in the delivery of the water through the Carson River.
The notion of communities in two states joining together to work for the health of a shared resource is admittedly not politics as usual. However, as we explore this option, we are encouraged by the concerns and hopes that the people of Alpine County share with their Nevada neighbors; that the Carson River watershed and its resources remain healthy, and that the Carson continues to flow its natural course.
This is everyone's watershed, and we welcome public input on this or other items with which CWSD is involved. If you have any comments or concerns, you may contact us at 887-7450.
EDWIN D. JAMES
Carson Water Subconservancy District