For Immediate Release Contact:Scott Huntley 702-258-7258
Jan. 28, 2010
Southern NevadaWater Authority Response to Nevada Supreme Court Ruling
We are disappointed by the courtÕs decision and areconsidering whether to file a Motion to Reconsider, because we believe thejustices may not fully appreciate the far-reaching ramifications of theirdecision on people throughout the state.
While the decision was directed at the Nevada StateEngineerÕs ruling on our water right applications, the reality is that based uponan initial review of the stateÕs database, more than 1,800 applications arejeopardized by this ruling, while thousands of additional permits held byagricultural interests, the mining industry, municipal water agencies andindividual citizens could be called into question, as it is not uncommon for itto take longer than 12 months to act upon a water right application.
The Nevada Supreme Court ruling remanded to District Court thedecision as to whether the Nevada State Engineer will simply need to re-noticethe applications in order to allow additional protestants toparticipate—which appears to have been the rulingÕs underlyingintent—or whether the applications must be re-filed.
It would certainly be in the interest of other applicantsthroughout Nevada for the District Court to opt for the former. However,because these applications represent the emergency water supply for the entireLas Vegas Valley should Lake Mead continue its decline, the SNWA today re-filedthe applications originally filed in 1989 to protect the communityÕs ability toseek permits from those basins should the District Court determine that re-filingis the appropriate action.
While it has not yet been determined which path the DistrictCourt will choose, this ruling seems unlikely to alter the EIS process becausethere are no substantive changes to the environmental permitting process. It istoo early to know the implications for the projectÕs construction timeline,which is being driven by elevations in Lake Mead, but that also seems unlikelyto be affected by this decision.