BAKER – Nevada’s Great Basin Water Network is celebrating a victory in a 30-year fight to protect the water resources of the Great Basin from what it called a “water grab” by Southern Nevada Health District.
The “water grab” was a proposed 84-inch, 300-mile pipeline costing $15.5 million to send water from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas. Southern Nevada Water Authority Board’s voted on May 21 to move the project into indefinite deferred status in its resource plan, revoking the remaining water rights applications filed in 1989 as a part of its Groundwater Development Project and its application for a 300-mile right of way with the BLM. Revoked applications affect the Snake, Railroad, and Indian Springs valleys.
Nevada District Court Judge Robert Estes on March 9, 2020 ruled the applications to pump water in Spring, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar Valleys illegal under Nevada law.
The BLM Right of Way, which a federal judge ruled as non-compliant under the National Environmental Policy Act, was subject to a remand order in 2017.
SNWA will maintain ownership of its ranching and farming operation that includes 900,000 acres of grazing allotments and around 60,000 afy of ground, surface, and supplemental water rights.
“From the start, we believed that all parts of the state and region should be able to survive and thrive,” said Abby Johnson, GBWN Board President. “The defeat of the water pipeline boondoggle is more than a huge victory for Great Basin Water Network and our allies. It’s also a win for future generations of plant life, wildlife and human life in the Great Basin.”