Stop Las Vegas from Stealing the Public’s Water

Target: Federal Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey

Goal: Stop Nevada from granting Las Vegas the right to groundwater stored in the state’s eastern region; developing this water supply would require billions of dollars in infrastructure investment and would cripple water users outside the artificial oasis of Sin City.

Las Vegas currently gets almost all of its drinking water from nearby Lake Mead, but recent drought conditions are pushing Vegas to look for alternative sources to satisfy its giant water demands.  The current proposal to look to the state’s eastern groundwater supplies and construct a massive water transport network to distribute the water from the east to Vegas, will have serious repercussions on water users – both human and flora and fauna related – throughout the state of Nevada, and could also impact bordering Utah.  We must oppose powerful Vegas lobbyists’ calls for a statewide water-grab by demanding that the Bureau of Land Management reject the proposed plan.

One of the biggest issues with taking groundwater from other regions for transport is that unlike in reservoirs – where the affects of water consumption are clearly visible – removal of groundwater impacts plants and ecosystems on a broader, less-confined scale.  The threat of massive water reallocation has created a stir among farmers and residents in eastern Nevada and western Utah, who fear that pumping groundwater would reduce the regions’ water table by 75 feet, resulting in an arid and utterly useless expanse of land.

The excesses associated with Vegas seem to be fueling an unyielding attitude toward water conservation, as planners have disregarded studies that have shown that more stringent conservation practices could cut generate 50 percent of Vegas’ water disparities.  While Vegas could take steps to address its water shortage internally, its plan to take water from the state’s other regions is simply more convenient and consistent with Vegas’ towering position among Nevada’s political hierarchy.  Help demand that the Bureau of Land Management does not approve Vegas’ water-grab; rejecting the plan will help facilitate a shift to a more responsible and sustainable Vegas, based on reasonable conservation efforts rather than continued, uninhibited excesses.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Abbey,

The Las Vegas proposal to construct a series of pipelines and infrastructure to facilitate the transportation of groundwater from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas must not be approved.  The plan would cost billions of dollars, and would have serious repercussions – both economically and environmentally – on eastern Nevada and western Utah.

The huge amount of expenditures required to get the necessary infrastructure in place would commit the project to long-term operation, regardless of the potentially unforeseen consequences on other parts of the state.  Additionally, the transient nature of groundwater makes it very difficult to pinpoint the effects – either direct or indirect – of removing the water.  In the end, the impacts of the project could be felt for generations even after the pumping has stopped.

I urge you to reject Las Vegas’ proposal to transport groundwater.  Studies have shown that Las Vegas could generate half of the water planned to be pumped by simply enacting more stringent conservation measures.  Of course, the image and perception of Vegas would take a hit in the process, but this is hardly reason enough to cripple the rest of the state.

Please consider the harmful long-term implications of Las Vegas’ plan, and support sustainability rather than facilitating continued excess.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Jeff Dahn says:

    Shut off the damn fountains and quit wasting water on Golf courses, etc. Any desert dweller understands water conservation, but I guess you all must be from New Jersey and don’t get it.

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