Water war

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  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    April 6, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    The waste and disregard for the future environmental hydrology out west is like watching a Greek tragedy--we already know the final outcome yet, somehow, so many of those who live in arid America refuse to embrace the climate they supposedly love.

  • UTAH Bill Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Utah and Nevada share the aquifer in question. And, Much of the water that goes into that aquifer is from Nevada sources. Does this mean Nevada should be able to do as it pleases with this water? No. That's not my point. Both states need to work out an agreement to share this water. By Utah sticking with a rigid "NO" we're left without a workable solution.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    April 6, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    I had a discussion with an economist about water in Vegas and the "free market," and he asserted that it was economically more profitable to have water running in fountains at the casinos than to have it used unprofitably to grow food in the desert. That is, people pay money to see the water as entertainment, but the low-cost food isn't worth the water used to grow it.

    I encountered a similar situation in California over 20 years ago where water from the Sacramento River was "more profitable" for people's swimming pools in the SF Bay Area than to grow low-value rice in the Sacramento Valley.

    Now perhaps this all makes sense to people who worship the "free market" and believe it is the natural order for all things rational -- but it doesn't make sense from the practical reality that people need to eat, and you can't eat casino fountains or swimming pools.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    April 5, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    What doesn't seem to be out on the Public discussion table is how much water is in the Snake Valley Aquifer? How much groundwater can reliably be pumped annually from the basin? How much annual groundwater recharge is there and what water rights will be adjudicated to the two states. This later issue most likely will be determined by the SCOTUS. To Utah citizens this should be an important issue, Utahans may want to tap this Aquifer themselves in the near future if the future precipitation forecasts are as bleak as the Berkeley climatelogists predict.

    To quote Mark Twain "Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting" I wager this Water war with Nevada will need the SCOTUS to act as a referee. Water wars are part of the West's story. Aside from Owens Valley in the 1920s(?). An Armed Arizona National Guard had a standoff with the California National Guard in the 1930s (?)at Parker dam over the Colorado River water. Best of luck to y'all

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 5, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    Surely Utah's lawyers could take a case to the Supreme Court. Article III, Section 2, states: " . . . --to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State,--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, . . "

    Let the Court do what the Court was instituted to do - solve disputes between the States.

    Furthermore, Section 2 clearly states that the Court shall have original Jurisdiction: "In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction."

    Take it to Court - now.

  • khillster Wendover, UT
    April 5, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    "The agreement at least provided a mechanism for guarding against environmental problems. As soon as such effects became evident, the pumping would have shut down and the problem would have been studied."

    Not true. According to the agreement, problems would have been addressed by talk, talk, and more talk. Meanwhile the pumping would continue. Therefore, denial and delay would have worked in SNWA's favor. Stopping the pumping was only one of several alternatives for mitigating damage, not a requirement. Once pumping began, there was nothing in the agreement that required or guaranteed a cessation of pumping.

  • kenfhill WENDOVER, UT
    April 5, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    I live in Snake Valley. There is a lot about the agreement that I did not like. But the thought of no agreement terrifies me. Therefore, I had reluctantly hoped Gov. Herbert would sign the agreement. I now hope Gov. Herbert has the opportunity to tweak the agreement and make it better. I have no expectation of ever getting a perfect agreement. But one with a little less talk, talk, talk and more triggers would be nice. And, as cjb points out, the water allocation needs to be much more realistic.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 5, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Time for Neveda to restrict growth and development in Las Vegas and the surrounding environs. Either that or mandate that no one has a lawn, and close down all the fountains and other water sucking things in the Vegas area. All the artificial lakes, etc. Make the water users in Las Vegas pay for the water. I'd make the fees so high that they would have to cut back to survive the cost.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 5, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    This agreement needs to be redone to allow a lesser amount of total water to be withdrawn. This water is in part Nevada's but both sides have a responsibility to see that the water is withdrawn in an environmentally responsible way.