Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fact or Fiction?


The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, d/b/a the Southern Nevada Water Authority, used public money to advertise the agency's deceptive arguments justifying its attempt to defoliate rural Nevada in a full-page ad in Sunday's Review-Journal.

These ads go for about $50K, which might seem like a lot of money but is really peanuts compared to the millions the SNWA spends to prop up its environmentally destructive and myopic policies. Anyhoo, the ad, titled "FACT or fiction?" argues:

“Rural communities, ranchers and wildlife are protected by Nevada water law and federal environmental law. (1) In an effort to reduce our community’s 90 percent dependence on the drought-plagued Colorado River, the SNWA will draw upon unused groundwater supplies within Nevada.(2) The SNWA is proposing to access water that is naturally replenished each year – just as farmers and eastern Nevada residents do.(3) The SNWA will install a system of wells to sustainably manage the withdrawal of available, unused groundwater, and the project will be overseen by federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nevada State Engineer.(4) The bottom line is that the SNWA is committed to responsible groundwater management – and the law demands it.”(5)

To address these points in order: (1) Conservationists have had to sue the federal government to protect species that are on the brink of extinction, and even when facing court orders, the feds are loathe to act when they go up against powerful commercial interests such as the SNWA. (2) By "unused water," the SNWA is relying on Nevada state law that defines the resource as that which is not making people any money. That includes the water that is going to support the trees and plants and critters in rural Nevada, including such unusable resources as the Great Basin National Park. (3) Show me a farmer that wants to take 65 billion gallons out of rural Nevada and Utah annually. (4) Of course, the SNWA will be responsible for the monitoring of the water drawdown. I'm sure we can trust their figures. (5) Complete horseshit.

The fact, er, "FACT" is that the Water Grab depends on taking the water that now goes to support native foliage through "evaporative transpiration." Eliminating that foliage consigns the region to a dust bowl. The SNWA and its corporate clients are counting on being able to fool the public and prevent governmental oversight just long enough to build the pipeline and drain the aquifers - by which time it will be too late to stop them.

For more on the science, see the Las Vegas Sun here.

1 comment:

The Lorax said...

Latest Southern Nevada Water-Stealer's Association spin: $50K.

Review-Journal's integrity: $0

Cartoon of Pat Mulroy sucking: Priceless.