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The Great Basin Water Network (GBWN) protects the water resources of the Great Basin for current and future residents. Read our 40 questions and answers about the Las Vegas Water Grab Las Vegas Water Grab Rejected by Nevada Supreme Court Press Releases, GWBN Newsletters & Other Documents

In The News — Below are press stories about the Southern Nevada Water Authority's "water grab" in Nevada and Utah as well as other "mega" water projects that threaten the Great Basin and/or the Colorado River system. [Note: Stories open in new browser window]

June 13, 2019 — Utah Presses Forward With Pipeline Plans Despite Colorado River Basin Constraints — The drive behind a massive water development project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could potentially force more conservation or cutbacks — kpbs.org

May 30, 2019 — Beware of changing state water law — A controversial bill that would have drastically changed state water law apparently has been scuttled for this session of the Legislature. Gov. Steve Sisolak said no consensus on the bill could be reached by the time the session ends this week and state water regulators should put together a panel to study the matter prior to the next session, according to The Nevada Independent. Opponents of Assembly Bill 30 said it would have eroded the foundation of our current water law that protects senior water rights holders and the environment as well . . . “We are pleased at AB30’s demise and committed to working with all stakeholders on policy,” Roerink said. “But we will never compromise on the pipeline or any nefarious attempts to undermine the law. No part of the state should be viewed as a water colony or sacrificial lamb for another part of Nevada.” mesquitelocalnews.com

May 24, 2019 — Governor's office pulls controversial water bill as talks turn to an interim working group — After weeks of tense negotiations punctuated by moments where compromise seemed possible, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office decided to pull a controversial water bill that opponents had argued would bolster the Las Vegas pipeline. The decision was made after “there [did] not appear to be anything approaching consensus,” according to an email from Sisolak’s senior policy advisor — thenevadaindependent.com

May 24, 2019 — Measure feared to boost LV water grab dies in Carson City — Opponents of the great Las Vegas rural “water grab” are celebrating the legislative death of Assembly Bill 30, a measure they say would have provided fertile ground for a power play by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), the agency suing for the right to take water from rural Nevada. The bill would have allowed the State Engineer to resort to a so-called 3M plan — Mitigation, Management and Monitoring — in cases where applications for water rights fail to avoid conflicts to the State Engineer’s satisfaction — nevadacurrent.com

May 24, 2019 — Water grab or sound policy? Proposed water legislation creates tempest in Carson City — CARSON CITY — Proposed legislation tackling water rights has environmental activists concerned about the specter of a north-to-south pipeline. Assembly Bill 30 would allow the state engineer’s office to create monitoring, management and mitigation plans — referred to as 3M plans — to deal with conflicts that would arise when an application for water use is in conflict with senior water rights holders. Environmentalists and a Republican lawmaker spoke Thursday outside the Legislative Building, slamming the bill as a water rights grab and precursor to a long-discussed project to pump water from the relatively wetter Northern Nevada to the Las Vegas area. Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, spoke bluntly. “A vote for AB30 is a vote for the pipeline,” he said. — Las Vegas Sun [Print PDF]

May 22, 2019 — OPINION: AB 30 threatens Nevada's National Parks and public lands— Pipeline projects across the nation threaten our public lands and natural resources. Unfortunately, Nevada is not immune to the danger. While some states are battling over energy pipelines, Nevada’s problematic pipeline would instead carry groundwater extracted from the ancient aquifers surrounding Great Basin National Park. In short, a bill currently before the Nevada State Senate (Assembly Bill 30) enables a pipeline proposal that would irreparably damage Great Basin National Park’s water dependent ecosystems where pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mule deer, desert tortoises and countless other creatures call home — Reno Gazette Journal [Print PDF]

May 21, 2019 — Officials celebrate Colorado River drought deal at Hoover Dam — Top water officials from across the Southwest gathered at the Hoover Dam on Monday to celebrate the completion of emergency drought plans for the Colorado River. From an observation deck overlooking the dam, federal regulators and representatives of the seven states that share the river signed the last of the legal documents needed to enact the so-called Drought Contingency Plans — RJ.com

May 16, 2019 — As legislators weigh changes to water law, litigation and the pipeline loom — All of the water lawyers showed up this week. Some of the developments this week in the ongoing debate over Nevada’s water law were to be expected. Others came as a surprise. Everyone from Southern Nevada Water Authority to environmental groups were caught off guard on Tuesday when Sen. Melanie Scheible, who chairs the Senate Natural Resource Committee, called a surprise work session on Assembly Bill 30, a contentious water bill aimed at resolving conflicts between water users and often viewed as a proxy battle over the water authority’s proposed pipeline — thenevadaindependent.com

April 27, 2019 — The Las Vegas rural water grab and endangered species — Review-Journal reporter Henry Brean’s April 13 story, “Rare frog finds home at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas,” portends what the future could look like for the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

It is admirable that water authority officials are working to save rare and imperiled species. But why are they simultaneously pursuing a pipeline project that would cause the decline or extinction of dozens of endemic aquatic species in Eastern Nevada — By Patrick Donnelly, director of the Center for Biological Diversity —— [This letter was posted on the Las Vegas Review Journal's website]

April 25, 2019 — Utilities tighten valves under Colorado River drought plan — One water rights attorney views the recently approved Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan as an opportunity for the municipal bond market. "Now that the agreement’s been signed, everybody’s looking at augmentation,” said Paul Orme, a water rights specialist at the Arizona law firm Salmon Lewis & Weldon who served on a steering committee for the state. “I can certainly see a role for municipal finance in that.” — bondbuyer.com

April 25, 2019 — A look back at the specifics of a wild, wet and snowy winter in California and the Southwest — Following a pretty dry 2017-18 season, the storms came back with a frenzy this season across the Southwest, helping to propel many places to above-average precipitation accuweather.com

April 17, 2019 — IID sues to halt Colorado River drought plan signed by Trump, says officials ignored Salton Sea — It's not over yet. The Imperial Irrigation District has sued to halt a sweeping Colorado River drought plan that was signed in to law by President Trump on Tuesday. Officials with the sprawling, sparsely populated rural water district in southeastern California say the Salton Sea was wrongly left out of the plan. IID holds among the oldest and largest rights to water from the river

April 15, 2019 — Environmentalists, lawmakers find compromise on pipeline bill — CARSON CITY — Environmental groups have dropped their opposition to a bill they had originally blasted as a way for the state to green-light a controversial plan to pipe water from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas after the bill was amended last week — reviewjournal.com

April 14, 2019 — High snowpack leaves Nevada drought free with a short-term water supply boost, as rivers continue to face structural issues — When snowpack in the eastern Sierra runs off into the Truckee River each spring, it hits several reservoirs before winding through Reno and flowing into Pyramid Lake. During the past couple of months, so much snow fell on the Truckee Basin — about 185 percent of normal for this time of the year — that more water will enter the reservoirs than there is space to store it — thenevadaindependent

April 08, 2019 — Study aims to better measure evaporation at Lake Powell — Las Vegas: Researchers are working to better measure how much water is lost to evaporation at the nation’s two largest reservoirs as part of effort they say could lead to new water management strategies. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Desert Research Institute have teamed up to study evaporation at Lake Powell, building upon ongoing research at Lake Mead, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week sltrib.com

April 08, 2019 — Congress approves seven-state Colorado River deal addressing drought conditions — The House and Senate both approved a seven-state agreement Monday night designed to reduce use of water from the parched Colorado River by drought-stricken Western states. Sponsored by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), the bill gives approval to a deal that was crafted through years of negotiations and designed to manage a limited water supply in the dry but rapidly growing West. It passed by voice vote in both chambers. The Colorado River is a water source for some 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — thehill.com

April 04, 2019 — The problems with taking water from Eastern Nevada The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to take billions of gallons of water that doesn’t exist from Eastern Nevada via a pipeline that would cost ratepayers $15 billion. Doing so would devastate wildlife and the people who live there. That’s according to Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, which opposes the pipeline.

“Southern Nevada should [obtain water] legally,” Roerink said while filming Nevada Politics Today. “They shouldn’t steal water from Eastern Nevada and decimate the face of Eastern Nevada as we know it, along with a national park, national wildlife refuges, and the heritage of our ranching and farming culture” — reviewjournal.com

All 2019 News Stories

All 2018 News Stories

All 2017 News Stories


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