Las vegas- Water Situation

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Brief introduction about Las Vegas's water situation. Highlighting the problem of the pipeline.

Published in: Law, Business, Economy & Finance
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Las vegas- Water Situation

  1. 1. LAS VEGAS Jaime Zamora
  2. 2. 1) LAS VEGAS’S MAIN WATER SUPPLIER 2) PATRICIA MULROY 3) WATER RIGHTS IN NEVADA 4) THE PIPELINE • Characteristics • Supporters and Opponents 5) THE BATTLE FOR WATER INTRODUCTION
  3. 3. Lake Mead  It is the largest man-made reservoir in the United States.  It was formed in 1935.  Mead's chief beneficiary is Las Vegas.  The lake provides 90% of the city water.
  4. 4. Colorado River  Colorado River is the main supplier of water to Lake Mead.  According to a 2008 study: “there is a 50% chance Lake Mead... will be dry by 2021."  The Federal Bureau of Reclamation predicts the Colorado will face water shortages 58 to 73% of the time by 2050
  5. 5. Patricia Mulroy  Pat Mulroy served as general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) from 1993 until retiring in February 2014.  Mulroy has proposed building an enormous pipeline to pump billions of gallons of "unused" water from remote valleys in central-eastern Nevada to Las Vegas.
  6. 6.  Terry Katzer: a USGS groundwater specialist  In 1989, the Las Vegas Water District filed applications with the state engineer for "unclaimed, unused" groundwater in 30 basins in rural east-central Nevada  Mulroy spent $78 million to by 7 ranches in White Pine County, along with their water rights. Mulroy's Idea: Where It Comes From
  7. 7.  Nevada Water Law is based on 2 principles: 1) Prior Appropriation 2) Beneficial Use  All of the water in Nevada is owned by the state.  In Nevada, water rights are assigned for a purpose. Water Rights In Nevada:
  8. 8.  The pipeline itself will take only 3 years to build.  The first leg will extend north from Las Vegas to Delamar and Dry Lake Valleys.  The pipe will then reach into Cave Valley, Spring Valley, and ultimately up to Snake Valley.  The system of pipes, pumps, and storage reservoirs will stretch about 300 miles and cost between $2 billion and $3.5 billion. Characteristics Of the Pipeline:
  9. 9. The two basins that provide water to the pipeline:  Spring Valley and Snake Valley  They are in White Pine County  Almost every ranch along the Spring Valley floor has been sold out to the SNWA
  10. 10.  Because the agency has characterized this water as "unused".  Reliance on Western water law to argue that native plants, such as greasewood, are not "legally entitled" to the valley's water as they have no "beneficial use". Reasons for carrying out the diversion of water:
  11. 11.  Lack of food to support animal life, as a result of killing native plants off.  Dust storms due to drying of hydric soils and loss of vegetation. Two Possible Adverse Consequences:
  12. 12. • Americans Indian Tribes • Conservationists • Ranchers • Rural People Opponents • Casino Operators • Developers • PoliticiansSupporters
  13. 13.  Las Vegas has applied to withdraw 90.000 acre-feet a year of water from Spring Valley.  In 2007, Nevada state engineer Tracy Taylor granted Las Vegas the use of 40.000 acre-feet of Spring Valley water a year, for 10 years.  Opponents challenged a state senate ruling that had denied pipeline protesters a hearing within a year of the close of the protest period, as is required by law. The Battle For Water
  14. 14.  In 2008, State Engineer Taylor granted Las Vegas almost 90.000 acre-feet of water from its first three claims in south of Snake Valley.  In August 2009, Utah governor Gary Herbert agreed to allow the SNWA to pipe 36.000 acre-feet of water a year from the Great Basin to Las Vegas. SNWA’s Victories
  15. 15.  In October 2009 Nevada district court struck down Tracy Taylor’s rulings on 3 of 4 rural basins along Las Vegas’s pipeline.  In 2010 the Nevada Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Tracy Taylor and state engineers who preceded him had violated the due-process.  Utah suspended its water-sharing agreement with Nevada indefinitely. SNWA’s defeats
  16. 16. QUESTIONS?

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