In the latest chapter on a controversial subject we’ve discussed before on the WETLAB blog, a judge has once again rejected a Southern Nevada Water Authority pipeline aimed at eastern Nevada water.
This is the second time a judge has blocked the project since 2009, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which would siphon billions of gallons a year from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas.
Seventh District Court Judge Robert Estes ruled that Nevada’s chief water regulator needed to recalculate and reduce how much water could safely be taken from Spring, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar valleys, according to the article.
Estes found that the amount of water proposed would affect other water rights, particularly in Spring Valley, where the project would mean the valley wouldn’t reach equilibrium even after 200 years.
He said the project, “is unfair to following generations of Nevadans and is not in the public interest,” according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
The proposed project, according to the Las Vegas Sun, would have cost $6.5 billion over 10 years, and has been protested by environmental groups, ranchers and Indian tribes.
If approved, the deal would have taken an estimated 84,000 acre-feet of water. An acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons.
“There is no objective standard to determine when mitigation efforts will be eliminated and implemented,” Estes said in the Sun article, requiring the State Engineer, Jason King, to take steps to avoid potential environmental impacts.
While King said he was disappointed, opponents lauded the decision. And while the decision has been made for now, it didn’t dispute the need for water for Southern Nevada outside of the Colorado River supply – an issue that will continue to arise as time goes on.