Water Network protests Southern Nevada water grab | NevadaAppeal.com

Water Network protests Southern Nevada water grab

Appeal Capitol Bureau

A group of rural officials and ranchers organized as the Great Basin Water Network asked state engineer Hugh Ricci on Thursday to delay ruling on the Southern Nevada Water Authority application to pipe water from rural Nevada to Las Vegas until after a thorough investigation of the effect.

The water authority has applied for permits to pump up to 58 billion gallons of water a year from White Pine County and other parts of eastern Nevada to serve explosive growth in Clark County.

“We’re simply asking the state engineer to wait for the best available information before making decisions that could irrevocably destroy our way of life,” said White Pine County Commissioner Gary Perea.

Specifically, the group asked a delay until the U.S. Geological Survey study of the Basin and Range Carbonate Aquifer System is completed in 2007.

“Considering the magnitude of SNWA’s applications and potentially damaging impacts on existing water users, this is not an unreasonable request,” said rancher Dean Baker.

They charged the White Pine application along with other SNWA applications involve water rights all across eastern Nevada and amount to a huge “water grab” by Southern Nevada developers and the water authority.

The group also asked Ricci to order environmental studies on the effect of the proposed pipeline project.

Ricci said he would take their requests under advisement and issue a decision later.