Protests expected over water transfer

The State Water Engineer's Office will take action after July 11 on Douglas County's request to transfer water from the Eagle Valley Basin.

Carson and Indian Hills officials declared last week they will protest Douglas County's request to transfer 32.5 acre-feet of water rights from the Lompa family, taking water from the Eagle Valley Basin in Carson City.

The protests have not yet been received by the state office, Deputy Engineer Tracy Taylor said Wednesday. State Engineer Hugh Ricci was out of the office this week.

"(Ricci) can't do anything with it until it's ready for action," Taylor said.

Any water use within the state, besides domestic wells, needs a permit from the State Water Engineer's Office.

Once the application is put into action after the public comment period ends July 11, Ricci may schedule a hearing or request additional information.

Bob Nunes, community development director for Douglas County, said the county has been planning for years to accommodate the commercial area surrounding the new Wal-Mart Supercenter and has spent a lot of money on the infrastructure.

"Maybe these people (protesters) have other agendas. Who knows?" he said. "Indian Hills would like a bigger rate base. So would everyone else."

Carson City draws water from the Eagle Valley basin, as does the Indian Hills District from two wells near Jacks Valley Elementary School, but pumping more water from the Wal-Mart well could affect the two wells owned by the district near Jacks Valley Elementary School, said Indian Hills district manager Jim Bentley.

Carson City Supervisor Pete Livermore said communications and cooperation were the primary objections to the transfer. Supervisor Robin Williamson, the only Carson City official to object to the protest, agreed.

Williamson said water rights overlap in both counties and the issue needs to be addressed regionally rather than county-by-county.

"Some counties in Nevada spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on legal costs. I don't want to get into that situation. We need to work together, to discuss things over a table rather than in a courtroom."


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