Standing tall

Dean Baker stood for this 2007 Las Vegas Sun portrait in the water of Big Springs, Snake Valley, Nevada, part of the Great Basin Carbonate Aquifer system targeted by Las Vegas. For 20 years, Baker has been the face of the opposition to the Las Vegas pipeline project, both for rural Nevada, where he lives, and the neighboring West Desert of central Utah, where he was born and raised. In 2007, at the behest of his childhood neighbors in Utah, Baker joined an Utahan negotiating team tasked by Congress to agree how much water, if any, Utah would consent to Nevada removing from Snake Valley, a basin shared by both states. Patricia Mulroy, Las Vegas water manager and founder of the nearly 300-mile-long pipeline project, decried Baker's appointment as political brinksmanship. However, Utah Director of Natural Resources Mike Styler said at the time of Baker, "He's a courageous person ...

Shock doctrine, Mulroy style

CRITICS of the Las Vegas pipeline proposed for the Great Basin will find almost every argument they’ve made in 20 years of protesting the project distilled in one witty, furious burst in today’s Aguanomics posting by UC Berkeley natural resources economist David Zetland.

Zetland whipped it out on the news earlier today that Utah has finally complied with Nevadan demands for Great Basin groundwater. This follows a dare last week by Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager Patricia Mulroy (pictured above, click on the photos for captions) to her board to vote against the pipeline.

Mulroy predicted empty hydrants and water once a week if they didn’t come to heel.

Beware of shock doctrine tactics, argues Zetland.

Utah concedes to Nevada water demands in draft agreement

BREAKING NEWS: Utah and Nevada today produced a draft agreement for the splitting of groundwater from the shared basin of Snake Valley.

Since making the single largest block of groundwater claims in Nevadan history in 1989, Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager Patricia Mulroy has been seeking Snake Valley groundwater, along with reserves from four other target basins, to feed a 300-mile-long pipeline proposed to tap the Great Basin Carbonate Aquifer. Snake Valley is the second most water-rich valley in the Las Vegas pipeline plan.

Bring it on

Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Patricia Mulroy. Photo: Sam Morris, Las Vegas Sun. Click on the image to be taken to the Sun profile of Mulroy "The Chosen One"

“TO SHORE up support for a controversial project, Southern Nevada Water Authority chief Pat Mulroy will ask her board for an ‘up-or-down vote’ on plans to pipe groundwater to Las Vegas from across rural eastern Nevada,” reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal today.

UPDATE – Saturday August 8, 2009: To read the Review-Journal about Patricia Mulroy and Las Vegas also in talks with Mexico over shared desalination deal, click here.

Bankruptcy in the Mojave

IMAGE OF THE DAY: an unfinished shopping mall in Summerlin, Howard Hughes’ “masterplanned” community in Greater Las Vegas. From Las Vegas Sun photographer Steve Marcus with story by Steve Green. To read it, click on the abandoned building site.

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