Special to The Ely Times

 The Great Basin Water Network, White Pine County, tribes the LDS Church and Utah officials will be back in court continuing the fight to stop the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s pumping and piping proposal that would forever harm places like Spring and Snake Valleys.

The hearing will begin on Nov. 12, at 8:30 a.m. at the White Pine County Courthouse located at 801 Clark Street. Executive Director Kyle Roernik with the Great Basin Water Network said, “If you can make the time, please come to the downtown courthouse, to stand alongside these folks in opposition to the project.”  The hearing is believed to be over a two-day period, commencing on Nov. 13.  

The project, now in its 30th year of existence, would siphon at least 58 billion gallons of water annually away from Eastern Nevada and Western Utah via a 300-mile pipeline to Las Vegas. 

Roernik said, “Our future, our heritage and our most precious resource would be used for toilets on the strip and swimming pools in new, sprawling developments in the Mojave Desert.”

 The project is a threat to the economy. By taking billions and billions of gallons of water away annually,  in perpetuity,  what will be left for our community’s farms and ranches? What will new businesses be able to use? US Geologic Survey evidence suggests that the project would ultimately affect the water supply in Steptoe Valley too.

 The project is a threat to the scenic values that attract visitors from around the world. Great Basin National Park would be affected, multiple Wildlife Refuges and other public lands. The BLM admitted the project would harm more than 300 local springs, more than 100 miles worth of streams, 8,000 acres of wetlands, and 191,000 acres of shrubland habitat.     

The project is a public health hazard. The project seeks to kill all the plant life that holds the ground floor. That would stir an extra 30,000 tons of dust and dirt into the air every year, affecting  breathable air and dirtying the region’s famed dark skies.

The project is a threat to local control,  White Pine County is not a water colony for Las Vegas, it is a threat to tribal spiritual sites and resource.  Wildlife included such as mule deer, elk, big horn sheep along with 20 threatened or endangered species.

The project is a threat to Las Vegas ratepayers. “Who will pay $15.5 billion (2011 dollars) for a project that won’t be able to deliver water for the long-term. The amount of water SNWA wants doesn’t exist now and it never will.” Roernik said.

“In this court case, the SNWA is asking for an exemption from the laws of Nevada, the laws of nature, the laws of economics, and the laws of morality,” Roerink said. “This project is a mirage where a few powerful interests will see some short-term gains while the rest of us, rural and urban, suffer. “