County alliance could prevent water grabs | NevadaAppeal.com

County alliance could prevent water grabs

by Christy Chalmers

Carson Water Subconservancy District directors think an alliance with Alpine County will help stave off potential Carson River water grabs by California.

Lawyers for the Subconservancy District, which oversees the Carson River watershed in four Nevada counties, and Alpine County, Calif., have been discussing the possibility of adding Alpine to the district. The river’s two forks originate in Alpine County.

Subconservancy attorney Scott Brooke said last week a joint powers agreement, which would not require legislative approval from the states, appears to be the most feasible way to add Alpine.

Subconservancy board members directed Brooke to begin drafting a potential agreement. They also speculated thay giving Alpine a say in the Subconservancy District would strengthen efforts to defend Carson River resources in the event California authorities try to appropriate them.

“This is a very powerful thing if we’re able to accomplish this,” said Subconservancy board member Jacques Etchegoyhen, a Douglas County commissioner. “I’m not aware of this happening anywhere else in the West.”

“The sooner we move forward to align with Alpine County, the stronger we will be to sidetrack any diversion to the Sacramento Valley,” added board member Kay Bennett, a Carson City supervisor. “We can’t act fast enough on this issue.”

The Subconservancy District expanded earlier in the year with the addition of Churchill County. The Carson River’s two forks merge in Douglas County and flow through Carson City and Lyon County. The river terminates in Churchill County north of Fallon.

The Subconservancy District board is made up of representatives of each county. Douglas has five seats, while the others each have two.