Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2015

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Ask Mr. Sun:

Has the Southern Nevada Water Authority ever considered tapping the water in Lake Tahoe?

Sun Coverage

There are many reasons why this would never happen. Here are a few.

The arduous process of securing water rights would almost certainly prevent Southern Nevada from tapping the famously blue waters of Lake Tahoe. Consider that after almost a decade pursuing ground water in less populous and less powerful eastern Nevada, the authority still hasn’t won those rights.

Southern Nevadans who haven’t ventured north might not fully grasp Lake Tahoe’s significance to the area. It’s a source of enormous civic pride; as a major tourist attraction, it’s an economic engine for the region; and unlike, say, the Strip, it’s something that locals regularly enjoy.

It’s only a slight overstatement to say a proposal to tap Tahoe would be like Las Vegas asking Arizona if it could use the Grand Canyon as an overflow dump.

Add to that injury the insult that the water would be headed to Las Vegas, and it would prompt a north-south civil war.

Again, for those unfamiliar with the north, its residents don’t think highly of Southern Nevada. They would likely prefer to watch the lake evaporate than give it to Las Vegas.

Questions for Mr. Sun should be sent to [email protected].

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