The Las Vegas Water Grab is Dead …

"Schell Creek Range from Cave Valley" by Jim Morefield is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. The Nevada Division of Water Resources ultimately denied the Southern Nevada Water Authority application to pump groundwater from the Cave Valley and several other locations and pipe it to Las Vegas. Visible flora include black sagebrush (Artemisia nova), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), matchweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), stemless goldenheads (Stenotus acaulis), and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma).

In 1989, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) began buying water rights in rural Nevada and developing a plan to export the groundwater via a 300 mile-long pipeline across public land for domestic and industrial use in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Last week, the SNWA Board of Directors voted to assign the project a status of “deferred,” effectively scrapping the plan.

Fighting over the pipeline has spanned generations of stakeholders and brought together a rare coalition of rural and urban Nevadans in a common cause.

Opponents of the project argued that drawing down groundwater below recharge levels in several rural valleys came with unacceptable environmental, ecological, cultural and economic impacts. The Great Basin National Park and several National Wildlife Refuges would have also been affected.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is well-funded and well-organized and spent some $310 million dollars developing the now “deferred” project. A coalition of grass-roots organizations stopped the plan over decades of battles in the Nevada State Legislature, in courts, and in the Nevada Division of Water Resources.

On this edition of the Wild Hare we chat with Kyle Roerink, executive director of Great Basin Water Network about the 30-year struggle.

Music credits as reported through the Public Radio Exchange, in order of appearance:

Song- Greenland
Artist- Emancipator
Album- Safe in Steep Cliffs
Label- Loci Records
Date- 2010
Duration- :42

Song- Summer Lightning
Artist- Caia
Album- The Magic Dragon
Label- Guidance Records
Date- 1999
Duration- 2:01

Song – Weightless
Artist – Marconia Union
Album – Café Del Mar
Label – Just Music
Date – 2016
Duration – 3:46

Song- White Magnesia
Artist- Bluetech
Album- Prima Materia
Label- Aleph Zero Records
Date- 2015
Duration- 1:34

Song- Planet X
Artist- Floating Stone
Album- Arcos Third Eye
Label- Café Ole
Date- 2009
Duration- 1:48

Song- Eastwest
Artist- Mama Oliver
Album- Nature Child
Label- C.R. Digital Contents
Date- 2013
Duration- 1:34