Monday, April 23, 2007

Following the Decision...

Last week's decision on one portion of the Water Grab by Nevada State Engineer Tracy Taylor to split the difference and give 40,000 acre-feet/year - plus another 20,000 a/f/y if it is shown to be sustainable - is good news from the perspective that it cuts the clearly unsustainable request from the Southern Nevada Water Authority for 91,000 a/f/y. (That's just a hair under 30 billion gallons annually.)
But to paraphrase Hugh Jackson, a Las Vegas interwebs pundit and all around good guy, the camel's snout is now in the tent. I don't think anyone believes that the Southern Nevada Water Authority will accept these limitations in the long term. The strategy is to go ahead and build the pipeline (for $10 billion, $20 billion, or however much it costs - when ratepayers are paying, money's no object!), then literally come back to the well in five or 10 years. By that time, SWA hopes that the environment will have been wrecked, the Endangered Species Act will be "reformed" out of existence, and the farmers of Central Nevada and Western Utah will have been driven out of business.
So the effort to stop SNWA's Water Grab must not just continue, but ramp up. We need to carefully monitor every negative impact and make sure the media, even those clearly in Pat Mulroy's camp, know about them.

No comments: