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Sides gear up for battle over water along border

Published: Sunday, May 15 2011 10:19 p.m. MDT

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My2Cents
Kearns, UT

It time for the BLM and federal agency's come to terms with a definition to define and limit how and where one city can get natural resources of water for its own use. What right does one city have to leave its domain to seek and search for resources and take them away from other potential developmnet and growth areas of a country.

What Las Vegas is doing is an example of archaic development laws established in the 1800's and its time to update city's rights and development and who owns or has preferential ownership of resources. If a city has a need for wood does that city have the right to go thousands of miles away across state or country borders lines and claim rights to their trees? The same goes with oil fields, should Nevada be allowed to go claim rights to the oil in Texas?

History has shown that prosperity is not permanent and loss of resources robs others of the ability to prosper. Nevada has no laws that say business in Las Vegas can't move closer to the resources they need.

In My Humble Opinion
South Jordan, UT

Do NOT lt this happen.

Serenity
Manti, UT

Las Vegas is a city of glut. It wants the very best, the showiest, and the plushest of everything. It's a city of extreme wealth as well as extreme poverty. There is no end to the razzle-dazzle of the Casinos while they are competing with each other to have the most extravagant. They waste water and all other resources. They cater to the wealthy who have no bounds to their desires. The Casinos use water with no controls, as if they don't realize that they are in the middle of the desert. They have pirate ships, water shows, fountains and mega-golf courses, not to mention the innumerable hotel rooms, all of which inhale water in exorbitant amounts.

Now, this wasteful city wants more water because what is already there can't support their superfluity? Should Utah give up its precious water resources to support their excessive waste?

True, businesses come to Las Vegas, making it is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. But what does that have to do with Utah's precious water? Why should Utah support the overindulgence of the casinos and the hypocrisy of Las Vegas?

justamacguy
Manti, UT

First off, Las Vegas is stealing no more water than any other city. If that argument is used then Salt Lake City should give back all the water it is taking from the Colorado River Basin with the Central Utah Project. That means water that comes from as far away as the South Slope of the Uintah's.

The fountains and water extravaganzas of Las Vegas should be a model to the rest of the U.S. on conservation. These shows are done using, so called, gray water. In other words water that has been recycled from culinary use and not water that is robbed from thirsty citizens.

Just the facts man.

windsor
City, Ut

whats wrong with pumping water which will run off each spring and end up wasted in the great salt lake, instead of pumping it from aquifers?

Dewey Hewson
Eagle Mountain, UT

There's no logical reason a city the size of Las Vegas should exist where it does. It has almost no natural resources, especially water, and almost everything has to be brought in from other locations.

The city started to explode in growth the last time we diverted water unnaturally with the damning of the Colorado River at several points, and we've long seen the natural and archaeological consequences of that tampering with nature.

Las Vegas is unsustainable; it's like a patient only being kept alive by machines. Only, in this case, those machines are sapping "life" from those who are sustainable.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Annual runoff replenishes aquifers yet they plan to pump much more than runs off each year. This cannot be allowed to happen, let's hope the Nev lawmakers see the problems and not just the additional $$ this will bring to the state.

justamacguy
Manti, UT

I can't figure out why Wasatch Front cities exist where they are. They have far over grown their resources. Wasatch Front cities divert water from out of valley sources to feed the ever growing population. Why should the Wasatch Front cities be able to do this and Las Vegas can't. Wasatch Front cities are just as unsustainable as Las Vegas.

Dadof5sons
Montesano, WA

I say drain lake powell and let vagas get their water else were.

DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

Vegas will probably have their way in the end... remember, big business controls the government. Those casinos are multi billion dollar industries, they'll get what they want.

phgreek
Hooper, UT

I really think the use of the argument "well you did it" is intelectually lazy...If we do not afford ourselves the ability to learn from our mistakes, well, anyway, you get the picture. If Utah has done a poor job, and injured folks feeding the wasatch, I'd say thats a mistake that needs some fixing...but to allow it to occur again...well Duh!

Progress is great, but don't whine when those with a say over needed resources don't agree with your definition of progress...

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Why have tree huggers thrown the West Desert under the bus?

It's laughable to watch the West Desert being completely ignored by the EDF, NWF, NRDF, Sierra Club, etc., etc., whose mission statements smugly proclaim such lofty ideals as "leadership within the conservation movement through uncompromising advocacy for wilderness preservation."

Uncompromising?

From their silence on the issue, even SUWA and the West Desert Healthy Environment Alliance seem unconcerned.

Hmmmmmm.

It would be so easy, too. A [1992-listed] threatened species, Ute-ladies'-tresses orchid (Spiranthes diluvialis), endemic in Snake Valley, will go extinct there without the springs and seeps that will inevitably be destroyed by the inevitable lowering and salting of the water table this poorly-thought-out action will produce. Not to mention the endangered West Desert ranchers and farmers, who are offered absolutely no protection by either the state of Utah or the misbegotten Endangered Species Act.

We've got a western name for this bunch -- "all hat."

Lilljemalm
Gilbert, AZ

Only 15% of the water in Las Vegas' fountains is grey water.
The Wasatch Front still, even without CUP, has water enough to support about 500,000 more people, and about 1 million more with tight restrictions (per U of U, state engineers and the B or R). Keep emotion out of your arguements. It will only detract and void your case. You don't want to lose the fight against Nevada on this one.

Alterego
Ogden, UT

If there is water on the moon, Las Vegas will claim it.

justamacguy
Manti, UT

If the Wasatch front has enough water to support 500,000 more people then why is the water flowing through the tunnel at Diamond Fork? Why is all the water coming off the south slope of the Uintah being gathered at Strawberry Reservoir? Let's put that water back into the Colorado drainage, support the streams for the Colorado cutthroat that were dewatered and it would then eventually end up at Lake Mead and Las Vegas would have water without tapping the west desert source.

Also, the endangered plants listed for the west desert do not depend on deep water aquifers or irrigation from springs or other flowing sources. These plants live on available water from rainfall. Taking deep water sources will not affect them.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . the endangered plants listed for the west desert do not depend on deep water aquifers or irrigation . . . ."

Well, only for their water and lives.

US Fish and Wildlife Service's profile of spiranthes diluvialis indicates: "[n]early all occupied sites have a high water table (usually within 5 to 18 inches) of the surface . . . ."

Hmmmmm.

It seems someone from FWS may have actually been to Snake Valley and seen them growing only at the edges of springs and seeps. Anyone who's actually been to the West Desert might be uncomfortable alleging that any plant there thrives "on available water from rainfall."

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