Saints to bow to Vegas, reports flagship LDS paper

Posted on | January 7, 2010 | 2 Comments

SALT LAKE CITY — A proposed water-sharing agreement in Snake Valley between Nevada and Utah appears destined for signature by the two states as additional revisions were aired in a Wednesday meeting of an advisory council, reports the Deseret News.

Nevada officials indicated at the Snake Valley Advisory Council meeting that they are on board with the agreement as it stands, and John Harja, chairman of the council, conveyed that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is convinced that “an agreement is better than none, and the interests of Utah are best served by an agreement.”

To keep reading today’s report in the Deseret news, click here or here for the Salt Lake Tribune account. Via the Great Basin Network and Aquafornia, which also has an AP account of public response.

Speculation aside, there is still hope that Utah Governor Herbert won’t sign. The Great Basin Water Network was founded to oppose the pipeline that under the agreement would tap the shared aquifer of rural Nevada and Utah to send its groundwater roughly 300 miles south to Las Vegas. “The fact that the newspapers are on our side should be indicators to the governor that he’s signing away the rights of his people,” said the network’s Susan Lynn earlier today.

If the agreement remains unsigned until the Utah legislature reconvenes on January 25th, Lynn believes that chances diminish significantly that the governor will sign. If he does acquiesce to Nevada, then Lynn predicts censure from the legislature for an overwhelmingly unpopular deal.

Above is a map of the monitoring areas proposed under the UT-NV agreement. Click, then click again to get a full-sized version. To download a PDF of the final draft of the state to state agreement, click here. For the draft monitoring agreement, here and report of public comments here.

Finally, unconfirmed word on the street is that the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s general manager Pat Mulroy, the force behind the proposed pipeline, will be interviewed tomorrow night by Katie Couric on CBS News.

A stream fed by the Great Basin Aquifer winds through the desert scrub of Snake Valley, Utah, to be mined of its groundwater as part of an impending agreement with Nevada. The water will be pumped nearly 300 miles south to serve the casinos and suburbs of Las Vegas.

 

Desertification

Heartbreak, anger in the West Desert

Utah concedes to Nevada water demands

How it’s done in the desert

Is Obama’s gain the Great Basin’s loss?

“Quenching Las Vegas’s thirst”

1/7/2010, 12noon: This post has been updated. The monitoring map has been added along with drafts of the agreements and comment from the GBWN.

Comments

2 Responses to “Saints to bow to Vegas, reports flagship LDS paper”

  1. Matt
    January 12th, 2010 @ 8:31 am

    Hi, I’m just wondering about the paper from the church in the title but not mentioned in your post? Can you post some information or links on that?

    I wonder if you’re also failing to mention the real reason why the Governor of Utah would agree to sell off the region’s lifeblood–the fact that UT wants to build a pipeline to Lake Mead and hopes for NV’s support on that down the road.

  2. EmilyGreen
    January 12th, 2010 @ 8:50 am

    Hi Matt, thanks for the comment. The Deseret News is owned by the Church of Latter Day Saints, and the Beehive State is strongly associated with LDS settlers, hence the allusion in the headline. The role of the church and state in the current water negotiations, along with the quid pro quo between UT and NV over the proposed pipeline to Washington County (I believe it will hook up to Powell and not Mead), are all covered in the links given after the jump in the post. For deep background, check out “Quenching Las Vegas’s Thirst,” part 4. Hope that helps. All best, Emily

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