Nevada Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick R-Gardnerville, on Monday presented legislation designed to fix the historic Marlette Lake water system.
The 140-year-old water system transports water from Marlette Lake above Lake Tahoe through Hobart Reservoir to Virginia City and Carson City. The system is Virginia City's only source of domestic water, but experts say the pipeline is in disrepair with leaks in many places.
Hettrick said AB49 proposes selling bonds to pay for reconstruction of the water system. The bonds would be paid by revenues generated from sales of the water to the two cities.
Hettrick said the money is available, but there is no authority to use it for bonds.
Ed James of the Carson Water Subconservancy District said the system was an engineering marvel when built, and parts of the pipeline are now 140 years old.
He said the bill would give the state the ability to sell up to $25 million in revenue bonds to rebuild the water system, providing Virginia City with a much safer and consistent supply of water and providing Carson City much more water from Marlette Lake. The system has a total of 3,000 acre-feet of water rights. Only a portion of that can be used until the system is rebuilt.