Bill requires reports on Las Vegas water pipeline project

The Southern Nevada Water Authority argued Monday against a bill Monday that calls for more disclosure of information about SNWA's proposed 250-mile-long pipeline that would draw water from rural Nevada to thirsty Las Vegas.

While proponents of AB325 said the agency has not been forthcoming with its information on the massive project, a water authority representative said the agency won't release information until it knows that it is accurate.

AB325 has bipartisan support, with most of Nevada's rural Republicans and Las Vegas Democrats signed on as sponsors. It requires SNWA make monthly reports on its investigation into the feasibility of water rights transfers to commissioners in affected counties, the state engineer, the U.S. Department of Interior and to the public upon request.

Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, prime sponsor of AB325, said there's a "fear and loathing" about the pipeline that would run from White Pine County in eastern Nevada to Las Vegas. He said the concern could be dispelled if independent researchers are able to review data the water authority uses.

"This is public money that is building this pipeline and I personally believe the public has to have access to the data," said Mortenson, adding that the bill is "not intended to hinder the Southern Nevada Water Authority's exploration of resources in White Pine County. This is just intended to shed some light on the process."


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