“Virtually impossible” for monitoring safeguards to work

WILL the monitoring of the groundwater pumping proposed by Las Vegas in the Great Basin safeguard the targeted valleys? “It is virtually impossible,” writes 32-year veteran of the US Geological Survey John D. Bredehoeft in the Salt Lake Tribune. To read the op-ed piece by the country’s presiding authority on groundwater, click here.

Or for a longer version of the article supplied by Dr Bredehoeft, click here.

Item 5

Updated 11/19/2009 9.21am PST

ITEM 5 on the agenda for this Thursday’s board meeting of the Southern Nevada Water Authority calls for the directors to take an October 15, 2009 decision by a Nevada district judge Norman C. Robison to the state Supreme Court.

The Robison decision deemed a 2008 award of water to Las Vegas and the SNWA by the State Engineer of Nevada from three Lincoln County valleys  “arbitrary, oppressive and a manifest abuse of discretion.” It then vacated the award for water in the three valleys that are the key first staging grounds of a nearly 300-mile-long pipeline that Las Vegas plans to run into the heart of the state to pump rural groundwater.

Why did the judge rule the way he did? According to Robison, the water — 18,755 acre feet of it a year (or enough for 37,000 homes) — isn’t there. “The state engineer

This is not a spider

Its legs are too long. It's a Model Cave Harvestman, or very rare daddy long legs, which is unique to the Great Basin National Park, where discoveries of new life-forms could stand in the way of a controversial groundwater pumping plan by Las Vegas. Photo: John Locher / Las Vegas Review-Journal. Click on the Harvestman to be taken to more photos by Locher and to read about an underground tour of Nevada's only national park by environment reporter Henry Brean in Sunday's Review-Journal. Thanks to John Fleck of the Albuquerque Journal and jfleck at inkstain for catching this deliciously creepy and wondrous story out of Las Vegas.

Albuquerque vs Vegas, gallon per gallon

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The decades that were, 1989-2009

OWING to events out of Nevada and Utah, the regular Monday feature, “The week that was” is pre-empted this week for “The decades that were.” The Southern Nevada Water Authority board meeting scheduled this week comes only two months shy of the 20th anniversary of the (then) newly appointed Las Vegas water manager Patricia Mulroy stunning Nevada with applications for half of the estimated groundwater then legally unclaimed in the state — for Las Vegas.

This Thursday, after two decades of largely unfettered growth in Greater Las Vegas, Mrs Mulroy’s board will give her an up-or-down vote on whether they wish to proceed with construction of the almost 300-mile-long pipeline, estimated cost $3.5bn, that tapping this water in five initial basins would require. To watch it live online starting at 9am, click here.

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