Water Fight Of The Century, Part 1

This isn’t just another story about folks fighting for some water rights and trying to hold onto the deserts most precious resource–WATER! What is really going on behind the scenes in Nevada, is what I believe is the BIGGEST political fight ever fought on these lands!

Over the past 6 months, I’ve been investigating the issue of the Southern Nevada Water Authority seeking to build a 300 mile water-pipeline through rural Nevada. One of the most fascinating and humbling aspects of this issue, is that it is extremely vast in nature and in many ways complicated by the enormous amount of individuals involved in this project. Honestly, it is mind-boggling how much information there is to sift through in order to get factual answers to important questions.

There are however, folks in the media that have worked extensively on this issue of the water pipeline–most specifically, KLAS TV Channel 8 I-TEAM Reporter George Knapp. George has published some amazing pieces on his discoveries of the water issues in Nevada. While I will not look to out-do George and his work, I will seek to bring more awareness and additional facts regarding this proposed pipeline.

In the first part of my story regarding the pipeline, I spoke to Nevada Rancher Hank Vogler, who has been featured on Jon Ralston’s Face to Face. Mr. Vogler is an outspoken opponent of the SNWA pipeline, and lends some insight to those of us who are not intimately familiar with this issue.

My first question was, “Mr., Vogler, what if anything can Nevada residents do to stop the SNWA pipeline through rural Nevada?”

“Every resident of Nevada needs to look at the connections between the entire group of people that are at the top of SNWA. Look at what their record of operations is as of today. Demand full disclosure. They (SNWA) are spending money very foolishly. Their business model is deplorable. Residents should go to their County Commissioners and public officials and demand an investigation. Demand an audit. Demand an independent research of the hydrology of the Valley‘s. The consequences of this project will last forever. It is crucial that mining of water doesn’t occur. Demand to know the Coyote Springs connection. Once the pipeline is built there will be no turning back. When the state spends all those billions and the water is not their. Then What?”, said Mr. Vogler.

As you can see by Mr. Vogler’s answer, this is a very contentious issue for rural Nevadan’s. However, this pipeline will also have an effect on all Nevada residents, and most importantly the residents of Southern Nevada (Clark County/Las Vegas). The result of the pipeline on Nevada is vast in nature, including the issues surrounding private lands, environmental impacts, political consequences, water rates, ranch lands, agricultural, just to name a few. I’ll continue to follow this story and report my findings as I get them.

Friday, August 28th, 2009 Nevada

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