Utah and Nevada Set for Water ThrowdownBy Michael Frank on January 4th, 2013
Las Vegas’ plan to tap billions of gallons of groundwater lurched closer to reality this week after the BLM granted a right of way for a 263-mile pipeline connecting Vegas with rural basins to the north near the Utah state line. But excluded from this decision, which environmentalists and local ranchers will likely challenge in court, was the contentious matter of whether the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) will tap water from under the Snake Valley…right at the state line with Utah. And Utah politicians say they aren’t going to sit by and let it happen. Environmentalists also say the decision by the BLM is “folly.” Abby Johnson, president of the Great Basin Water Network, said, “The BLM’s own environmental impact statement, in thousands of pages of analysis and disclosures, confirms that, if implemented, the project would result in certain devastation for the environment, ranching families, Native-American people, and rural communities.” It’s not clear what Utah can do to stop the BLM, but one thing that is clear (and weird): Utah governor Gary Herbert will for once have environmentalists on his side if he fights this ruling in court. Via <a href=”http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55538357-78/nevada-blm-decision-groundwater.html.csp” target=”_blank”>Salt Lake Tribune</a>.
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