Bi-state water board a bad idea | NevadaAppeal.com

Bi-state water board a bad idea

Nevada Appeal editorial board

It seems like a natural progression to add the county where the Carson River originates to the Carson Water Subconservancy District.

Certainly, Alpine County has a stake in the river’s fate.

There is only one tiny problem.

Alpine County is in California.

Our cousins in Alpine County are nearly Nevadans. They deserve to have a say in many issues affecting Nevada.

But to bring them into the Subconservancy District raises a far greater specter.

Its initials are TRPA.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency seemed like a good idea when it began.

Preserving Tahoe for future generations is still a fight we are willing to fight, but it has taken the better part of 25 years and a lot of legal wrangling to get the agency to respond to the people who live in the basin.

Some would say that still hasn’t happened.

The subconservancy doesn’t make decisions on land use. It makes decisions on the use of a far more valuable commodity, the water flowing in the Carson River.

Presently, the subconservancy is at least accountable to the Nevada Legislature and, to a certain extent, to individual county voters.

Its structure ensures that no county gets the better of another, with each of its member counties having a veto over any action.

While we would like to believe that the district board would make decisions that are good for the river and its users every time in perpetuity, the reality is that no group can satisfy all of its constituents all the time.

Making the subconservancy a bi-state agency will make it harder for the individual to fight those decisions.

Alpine County is a wonderful place, populated by great people. But its presence in California should preclude it from inclusion in the Carson Water Subconservancy District.