Neighbors should ask before borrowing water

Probably it was inevitable that Carson City and Douglas County would get around to fighting over water. Why not? They seem to be bickering over everything else.

It's only 32.5 acre-feet purchased by Douglas from the Lompa family for a price - $110,500 - Carson City wasn't willing to pay.

But it isn't the price that has Carson City supervisors formally protesting with the state engineer. It's where the water would go: to the Wal-Mart shopping center.

You remember Wal-Mart. It used to be in Carson City until it moved across the county line, with its sales-tax revenues, to Douglas. A few words have been exchanged between Carson and Douglas officials since the retail boomlet around Topsy Lane, and some of them were a bit unpleasant.

So here we have two neighboring governments that can't seem to get together on planning issues that might resolve some of the issues facing their constituents. We've urged regional cooperation before, and we'll urge it again.

This time, though, Carson City supervisors are more than justified in filing a formal protest. They claim, and it appears to be true, that transferring the water diversion point from the Lompa Ranch to the shopping center will mean moving it out of the Eagle Valley basin.

That's a technical question, but the consequence would be to remove some of the aquifer supplying Carson City wells and put it in Carson Valley. The supervisors have to protect that resource, especially from a county government that seems willing to grab first and ask questions later.

One of the questions Douglas County commissioners might have asked was, "Can Indian Hills supply the water to the shopping center?"

Yes, it can. But according to Indian Hills General Improvement District Director Jim Bentley, the county never asked.

Hmmm. Maybe Indian Hills is closer to Carson than we thought.


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