Friday, June 20, 2008

George Knapp on Mulroy's Billions

George Knapp, writing in Las Vegas CityLife, noted that the SNWA has great gobs of money that could be used to balance the increasingly serious Nevada budget crisis. Knapp noted that the Captains of Industry and Government usually just apply Band-Aids to cover our regular crises in fiscal management:

If that's going to be the case once again, can they at least consider a different Band-Aid? What if they were told about a huge pile of public dollars just sitting around waiting to be spent? I'm talking about the overflowing warchest of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. I wrote about this once before and it generated nary a ripple. But now that nitty gritty time is upon us, maybe we can raise the subject one more time.
The water authority has a gigantic amount of money in its bank accounts. I'm sure the water folks will tell me why this ocean of moolah must remain off limits for anything but water projects, but why should this one government entity be the only one to be exempt from the pain everyone else is feeling?

There's some other great stuff in this long post focusing on the Water Grab, including references to the Mike Baughmann study from way back in 1990.

Full story here:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mulroy: Water Importation Schemes Fuel Unsustainable Growth

At last, Water Czarina Pat Mulroy sees the light! Recently she bragged to a reporter for an architectural journal that she is an environmentalist, redefining the word to refer to those who eagerly lobby for the destruction of thousands of square miles of the Great Basin.

And of course she has recently claimed that defoliating the Great Basin by pumping rural groundwater to Las Vegas has nothing at all to do with growth and satisfying the profit-driven appetites of developers.

But in a letter to a federal agency she seems to suggest that these grand water transfer schemes do, in fact, fuel growth and impact the environment and communities. To wit:

"It should be obvious that there will be significant cumulative impacts associated with the transbasin importation of water. These effects include induced growth and related issues of transportation, energy, and impacts on lands and water resources in and surrounding the areas to be served."

Unfortunately, in this letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on June 3, Mulroy was not referring to Southern Nevada, but to Southern Utah. She hates Utahns for throwing roadblocks into her effort to destroy the Snake Valley and Western Utah's agriculture and natural environment, so she's protesting Utah's plan to bring its allocated water from the Colorado River to growing population centers in the Beehive State's south.

So basically she hates Utah for doing exactly what Mulroy is doing in Nevada.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Another Reason Not to Pave Over the Mojave Desert...

My former colleague Stephanie Buhler has the scoop on important new research that indicates that the desert, far from being the wasteland that some public officials would like to make the entire state, is in fact very important to controlling carbon levels in the atmosphere. You know, the same levels that spell doom if we don't start taking this stuff seriously.

Anyhoo, turns out that the desert aborbs more carbon than parking lots, slot machines and tract housing. This will no doubt cause the Southern Nevada Homebuilders Association d/b/a Southern Nevada Water Authority to radically rethink the commitment to destroying all of the Great Basin and Mojave Desert's natural places.

Here's the killer cut:

Currently, desert ecosystems are largely treated like vast wastelands with no need for protection. They are commonly used for storage of toxic substances, weapons testing and live-fire war games, off-road vehicle recreation, mining, dumps for household waste and, in Southern Nevada, urban and suburban development.
Small groups of environmentalists in the Southwest have for years called on regulators to limit urban expansion into the desert and the disturbance of desert ecosystems to protect endangered animals that inhabit them.
Proof that deserts also significantly offset greenhouse gases could widen support for desert conservation measures and lead to tougher protection for desert lands, Fenstermaker said.

My only quibble: We're not that small. I feel like a hobbit.