Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 | 2:02 a.m.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority has been in the local news a lot lately, and again we hear the strategy of destroying the lives of farmers and ranchers by draining their water. Spending $15 billion to build a system of pipelines and pumps to drain the groundwater from eastern Nevada and western Utah seems really stupid, especially when you consider it is not a permanent solution to the dwindling water supplied by the Colorado River.
I have no idea who is going to benefit from this insanity, but they must be pretty well connected. Desalinization has been proposed but not seriously considered. The Army Corps of Engineers has reported that Columbia River water could be diverted to the Colorado River. I wonder whether either of these proposals would cost as much as $15 billion.
Desalinization could even be powered by solar, making it even less expensive, and trading that water to California users for Colorado River water makes it a lot more permanent than stealing the groundwater from our fellow citizens up north.
From a jobs standpoint, I am sure that the pipeline proposal would be the biggest winner followed by the desalinization idea. While jobs are indeed important right now, it should be pointed out that permanent solutions should take priority over anything else.
We need to remember that Las Vegas is not the only entity that relies on the Colorado. The river supplies water to Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles and lots of smaller cities throughout the region. Then you have to consider all the farmers, ranchers and water sports enthusiasts, as well.
No, spending $15 billion to benefit just Las Vegas is a bad idea from too many directions to be seriously considered any longer.