Group of Utah legislators wants Herbert to reconsider Snake Valley decision

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  • kenfhill WENDOVER, UT
    May 15, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    I am a resident of Snake Valley. I have had reservations about the agreement for quite a while. I wish it was a lot better than it is and I wish it could be renegotiated. But I do not think it will be and I am worried that Harry Reid -- a parlimentary master and generally sneaky guy -- will sneak, into some unrelated legislation, language that revokes the need for an interstate agreement prior to water export from Snake Valley.

    With no requirement for an agreement, Nevada would be able to do whatever they want, probably granting more water than the agreement limits and imposing little or no environmental protection for Utah and Utahns. If you believe the emminant water lawyers who advised the governor, without an agreement we would have to wait until negative impacts develop before taking complaints to court.

    With that in mind, I reluctanly came to support the agreement, as limited as it is. The agreement gives me something of a vision of the future. No agreement -- waiting for horrible irreversable impacts before being able to go to court -- terrifies me. The agreement also protects against others who may have designs on Snake Valley water.

  • John McClane SLC, UT
    May 15, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    @Johnny Triumph
    "As for the Snake valley, sounds like we need to drill a bunch of test wells on the Utah side and then craft an agreement that allows Nevada to pump water as long as certain depth levels are maintained on the Utah side."

    Utah has already drilled nearly 80 monitoring wells in the Snake Valley area and has been monitoring water levels there for about 4-5 years now. Part of the rejected agreement had just the sort of conditions that you proposed, i.e., that if water levels started dropping on the Utah side Nevada would have to curtail pumping. The problem is, the 4-5 years of data that we have show water levels already dropping on the order of 4-6 inches every year in most places.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    With our elected Attorney General in a holding pattern or timeout, he doesn't seem to be providing anything for the Governor to make a legal determination, as the Governor has said about the Attorney General. How many other events are shadowed over by the Attorney General saying he is innocent and not resigning for the better part of our State of Utah. There are just too many inconvenient accusations coming forward from a variety of people, in and out of jail or on their way to jail. Politicians can make arrangements but the Attorney General, even though elected should not make deals on the side, away from his many authorized agents, including the ex-Chief Deputy to Mark Shurtleff.

    It will be interesting to see if he attends the Utah Republican convention this week and stand available to answer questions or the public and media who can attend but can't make a ruckus or disrupt the meetings going on. The debacle during the Christ Stewart nominating process a year ago was very disruptive it appears.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    May 15, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    The Southern Nevada Water Authority needs to start conservation efforts by raising the costs of water, it's MUCH too cheap for such a scarce commodity. They need a graduated pricing scale so that the small homeowner can still afford to live there yet prices the larger water users more appropriately.

    As for the Snake valley, sounds like we need to drill a bunch of test wells on the Utah side and then craft an agreement that allows Nevada to pump water as long as certain depth levels are maintained on the Utah side. If Nevada has a risk that they'll have to shut down pumping then maybe they'll be less likely to spend huge dollars to build a 300 mile long pipeline.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    May 15, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Mr. Bass! I will give the good Guv the benefit of the doubt on this one, he got it right the first time.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    For those who have property anywhere, north or south, in Utah have to fight for every drop of water within the state. The Colorado compact is still valid and vital to maintain the water resources. San Diego even found that out when they had taken our water. Nevada and especially Las Vegas has their water fountains, golf courses and man-made lakes they want for their type of tourism. They live in a desert and they need to live as if they are in a desert. It won't take long for land developers in and outside of Nevada to learn that water is more important than gold or chips on the table. They have plans for the Snake Valley and our land developers in our Legislature and Governor's office know the value of water. The nuclear reactor planned in the Moab area will require a lot of water and Kane county has given rights to use some of their water. St. George is getting water piped over from Lake Powell. The Great State of Utah needs water but is needing it from other areas, just as Nevada. Las Vegas has Colorado compact but the Snake Valley isn't.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 15, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Just dangle some developer money in front of Herbert and he'll sign anything you want.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    May 15, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Attorney Peterson is an attorney employed by Farmland Reserve, a development company owned by the LDS Church. I believe the Church opposes the proposed Nevada agreement. I wonder if he has talked to his employer Mr. Thompson may need Nevada's political support for his Employer's proposed water pipeline from Lake Powell to St. George

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    May 15, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    Besides Scott Jenkins who else from the legislature is on this board? This group DOES not have the best interest of Utah in mind. It seems they have Nevada interests above those of Utah, should we follow the money?

  • Michael Roche Provo, UT
    May 15, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    In order to make an informed decision, we need to know all of the likely outcomes of a lawsuit with Nevada, as well as how likely they are. If it's likely Nevada will prevail in a lawsuit for their share of the water, then it would have been in our best interest to sign the agreement because it included some protection for Utah's west desert. If it's unlikely Nevada will prevail, then we didn't need those protections and Utah's interests are better protected by not signing the agreement.

    In addition, if Utah would win that lawsuit, we could balance Utah's interests against Nevada's interests and decide which ones we care about more, or, even better, we could engage in another round of negotiations and demand more for Nevada's right to take the water. Like free beer and gambling on Tuesdays.

    Utah's public never had the information, either from the state or the media, to make an informed decision on this issue.

  • slugworth Hyrum, UT
    May 15, 2013 6:45 a.m.

    Peterson's stress that everyone "missed" something is quite short-sighted. The clause to protect existing water use is reactionary at best, and difficult to enforce. It also makes absolutely no accommodations for future growth in southern Utah. No, Attorney Peterson, you are the one who missed something.

    To say that Utah is no longer seen as a state that deals in good faith with other states is pure rubbish, unless we want our neighbors to think we are hapless pushovers who will act against our own best interests.

    I rarely am in full agreement with Gov. Herbert, but this decision is one of the few things he got right. I think the opponents to this who were quoted in the article are either naive or (more likely) working for/beholden to interests outside of Utah. Pay attention, voters!

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2013 12:10 a.m.

    Down Side. Delta farmers already pump 400' wells to get 80F water out of the ground. How deep and how warm will the water if they let Nevada drain the water away?