Las Vegas Sun

September 27, 2022

Currently: 108° — Complete forecast

Editorial memo:

Looking for water in the desert


Sam Morris

Visitors to Lake Mead find a quiet cove away from the crowds.

What do you think?

Send your thoughts in a letter — no more than 250 words. Include the writer’s name, address and phone number. Anonymous letters will not be considered. E-mail: [email protected].

To: Our readers

From: Editorial page staff

Re: Your thoughts

We want to know what you think. Below is a memo outlining a major issue facing Southern Nevada: water. Send us a letter to the editor or put a comment below, and we’ll publish the most interesting letters and comments next week. (We’d like to keep this civil — your thoughtful comments could change someone’s opinion. So, please, no attacks, name calling, spiting, biting or hitting below the belt.)

• Overview: The state engineer is holding hearings on the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s application to take more than 125,000 acre-feet of water annually from areas of rural Nevada northeast of Las Vegas. The state engineer will decide whether the authority, the region’s water purveyor, will be allowed to take any water and, if so, how much.

• The issue: Southern Nevada officials have been searching for new sources of water. Population growth and the continued drought on the Colorado River, which provides most of Southern Nevada’s water, has put pressure on the water supply. Officials want to supplement the current supplies with water from rural Nevada to provide for future needs.

• The project: The water authority would build a 306-mile pipeline with an array of pumping stations and other facilities to bring the water south. It's estimated to cost more than $3.2 billion.

• The basic argument for: Southern Nevada needs water and this is the best source and is cost-effective. There’s really no other choice, and this will help provide for future growth.

• The basic argument against: It is costly and would harm the environment and people living in rural areas. Las Vegas can conserve water or limit growth.

• Links & Resources •

There are volumes of information available on the Internet. For an overview on the hearings, here's a story on it. A good starting point on the water issue is the Las Vegas Sun's page Quenching Las Vegas' Thirst. What follows is a short list of some links to provide you some information on the issue.

• The state engineer’s website is here. The state engineer’s website on the SNWA hearings is here. It includes hydrological studies on the areas from which the SNWA wants to draw water as well as documents and information involved in the hearing. The hearings can also be viewed on the site.

• The Southern Nevada Water Authority’s website for the project includes plans, studies, maps and other documents.

• The Bureau of Land Management’s website on the project includes the draft environmental impact statement on the project — beware, it's massive.

• The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada has been against the project and some of its work can be found on this page.

• The Great Basin Water Network is against the project and has its views can be found on its website.

Thanks for your interest and for taking a look. We look forward to hearing from you.

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