Interior Releases Report Highlighting Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water

Escalation of Western Water Wars Loom

The finite availability of western water is part of the reason Ralph Maughan previously posed the question : Will the resource sucking “sin city” be reclaimed by the desert ?  Perhaps eventually, but in the meantime – despite setbacks, the Southern Nevada Water Authority keeps stretching its tentacles in a continuing effort to draw-down surrounding water resources:

Hundreds Protest Las Vegas Water GrabGreat Basin Water Network Press Release

Nevadans and Utahns made it clear once again that Las Vegas won’t take water from rural Nevada without a fight.

This at a time when the Interior Department has announced a report commissioned by the Bureau of Reclamation – which has presumably brushed up on its 9th grade math – highlighting the impacts of climate change to western water resources – including a projection of an 8 to 20 percent decrease in average annual stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.

Interior Releases Report Highlighting Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water ResourcesInterior Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a report that assesses climate change risks and how these risks could impact water operations, hydropower, flood control, and fish and wildlife in the western United States. The report to Congress, prepared by Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, represents the first consistent and coordinated assessment of risks to future water supplies across eight major Reclamation river basins, including the Colorado, Rio Grande and Missouri river basins.

Leaving Las Vegas: Will Sharon Angle turn out the lights?

Will the resource-sucking “sin city” be reclaimed by the desert?

Everyone knows at least a little bit about Las Vegas. To many visitors, Las Vegas is Nevada. In terms of population this is almost true. The large majority of the state’s population lives in Clark County (Las Vegas) — almost 2-million people live in this small southern Nevada urban area.  Reno is the only other major population center.

There is the real Nevada. It’s a land of vast deserts (both hot desert and cold Great Basin desert).  Over a hundred mountain ranges bisect the desert basins. Scenery is wonderful, although it is not the classical jagged glacier peaks and deep forest. Population density is very low. Best of all, almost 80% of the state is public land. You don’t have to ask permission to use it.

On the other hand, it is not pristine land. Most of the land is grazed by cattle, although Nevada is regularly held up as an example of the poorest grazing land in America. Much of north central Nevada is being torn apart by vast gold mine pits that spew their poisonous mercury upon the residents of Utah and Idaho. The gold pits are late comers to an earlier era of mining that created towns like Searchlight, Nevada.

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How the plan to drain Nevada desert valleys suddenly collapsed

Legislation from 2003 had a hidden flaw-

The small oversight that threatens the valley’s big pipeline proposal. Nevada Supreme court cites a wording error in ’03 legislation. By Emily Green and Tom Gorman, Las Vegas Sun.

The seemingly unstoppable “water witch of the West” made an early mistake.

I hope it is truly dead, but Put Mulroy may have more cards up her sleeve. Pipeline not the sole option. Authority exploring other means as predictions for Lake Mead remain grim.By Stephanie Tavares. Las Vegas Sun.

As giant Lake Mead continues to dry up, and the drain-the-desert plan maybe dead, will the economic depression in Nevada keep the Las Vegas area wet?


Yea! Nevada Supreme Court Rules Against Vegas Water Claim

A great victory for rural Nevada and the land and wildlife over Pat Mulroy and Southern Nevada Water Authority-

“Plans to siphon billions of gallons of groundwater from rural Nevada were tossed out today by the Nevada Supreme Court.” Nevada Supreme Court Rules Against Vegas Water Claim. LasVegasNow.com

~more~

Nevada water pipeline: In jeopardy? Greenspace: Environmental news from California and beyond. LA Times.

Utah governor to sign Snake Valley water pact with Nevada

Does he care that it will turn the Nevada/Utah border into a dustbowl?

Guv ready to make Snake Valley water deal with Nevada. By Brandon Loomis. The Salt Lake Tribune

Don’t sign, governor. Snake Valley water pact needs work. Salt Lake Tribune Editorial.

We hoped the recent court loss by the Southern Nevada Water Authority would stop Utah’s new governor from buying into this corrupt bargain. Utah’s governor no doubt wants his own destructive water pipeline from Lake Powell across southern Utah to feed urban sprawl at St. George, UT.

Photos of how the Southern Nevada Water Authority deals with desert plants on the land is has grabbed. Does soil look like it isn”t going to just blow away?

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29659698
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29653768
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29659249
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/29659808

Utah governor to go slow in negotiating agreement with Nevada to dewater Snake Valley

Nevada court decision against Southern Nevada Water Authority cautions Utah’s new governor-

Herbert agrees to ‘go slow’ on Snake Valley water deal. In the meantime, Nevada courts are sorting out an in-state conflict. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune

A danger is that Harry Reid will use the US Senate to help Nevada developers steal the water.

Posted in Las Vegas, politics. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Utah governor to go slow in negotiating agreement with Nevada to dewater Snake Valley

Judge slashes Southern Nevada Water Authority

SNWA loses right to suck 6- billlion gallons of water a year from under Nevada desert valleys-

This is a blockbuster decision for the high desert of Nevada and western Utah and against the same old pattern of urban sprawl for Las Vegas. The state supreme court could yet rule for SNWA. It’s a big loss for Harry Reid and Pat Mulroy; and, of course, the developers.

PIPELINE PLANS: Judge kills water ruling. Permission for agency to tap three rural valleys rejected. By Henry Brean. Las Vegas Review Journal.

“Judge Norman Robison ruled that State Engineer Tracy Taylor ‘abused his discretion’ and ‘acted arbitrarily, capriciously and oppressively’ when he cleared the authority to pump more than 6 billion gallons of groundwater a year from Cave, Delamar and Dry Lake valleys.”

Commentary-

Ooops! Judge: No SNWA Pumping From Cave, Delamar, and Dry Lake Valleys. WaterWired.
Las Vegas loses water rights to key valleys. Chance of Rain

This decision and its importance was a little slow to dawn on the major newspapers. The Las Vegas Review Journal got it right from the start, however. The Las Vegas Sun, “sin city’s” “liberal newspaper” doesn’t seem to have covered it yet.
New 10/29. Nevada ruling could burst Las Vegas pumping plan. Snake Valley » Judge blisters official’s decision favoring Vegas. By Patty Henetz. Salt Lake Tribune. [this] “could doom Las Vegas’s plan to build a 300-mile, $3.5 billion pipeline from Snake Valley, which lies mainly in Utah, to the desert megalopolis.
Vegas water agency vows fight for groundwater plan. The Associated Press

Some photos ↓

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