Nevada: Judge blocks the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s groundwater pipeline project project

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From the Las Vegas Review Journal (Henry Brean):

For the moment at least, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has lost the water it hoped to pump to Las Vegas in the first phase of its proposed pipeline across eastern Nevada.

In a strongly worded order issued last week, a district judge overturned a 2008 state ruling that granted the authority permission to tap groundwater from three valleys in central Lincoln County. 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.

The senior judge from Gardnerville wrote that the state’s chief water regulator traditionally requires “specific empirical data” before allowing groundwater to be transferred out of a basin. This time, though, the state engineer is “simply hoping for the best while committing to undo his decision if the worst occurs,” Robison wrote.

2 thoughts on “Nevada: Judge blocks the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s groundwater pipeline project project

  1. I have read many articles about this project.I hope this is not another case of environmentalist stopping what is needed for man because of some plant or animal.

    • Pat,

      Nope. It doesn’t have anything to do with endangered or threatened flora or fauna. The judge ruled that the state engineer’s calculations of sustainable yield from the basins was based on sketchy data. Basically, there never has been large scale pumping in the valleys. Very little is known about the geology — hence estimates of total water and recharge are not trustworthy.

      Thanks for commenting.

      John Orr

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