Water Grab: No. Nevada Not Giving Up Without a Fight - 8 News NOW

Jonathan Humbert, Legislative Reporter

Water Grab: No. Nevada Not Giving Up Without a Fight

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The plan to siphon-off water from Northern Nevada counties still has a chance to go forward.

A judge must rule on the permits for the Southern Nevada Water Authority's plan to create a pipeline to bring water to Las Vegas, but the north is not going to give up without a fight.

Have your say: If the plans get the green light, are you be willing to pay for it?  

The pristine fields and flowing meadows of Northern Nevada are fertile ground, and few places in the world can match the beauty and the views. But all that beauty comes from water, both above ground and below.

White Pine County Commissioner Laurie Carson said, "You're talking about a finite resource that cannot sustain something infinitely."

As growth outpaces supply, water is more important than ever in Southern Nevada. But in the north, far away from the bright lights of Las Vegas, there are simply ranchers, recreation, and a lot of reasons to keep the water right where it is.

The SNWA pipeline project would take water from the Great basin and ship it down to the Las Vegas Valley, and that could affect a huge portion of the state.

Commissioner Carson continued, "You start impacting the vegetation, you start impacting any of the wildlife."

But there could be another solution. As more Las Vegans push for greener grass and casinos, growth and traffic make Southern Nevada into a little Los Angeles, and some want water wasters to feel the pinch in their wallets.

Charles Benjamin, with Western Resource Advocates, said, "If they use a lot of water, what we would consider and excessive amount of water, then they're going to pay more for it."

Making water more expensive could make people think twice. And that little bit of thought could help keep these two different communities separated by hundreds of miles closer to a more sustainable future.

The White Pine County commissioner added, "If you don't have water, what do you have?"

If approved, the pipeline could cost anywhere from one to ten billion dollars and could be completed by 2015.

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