NPR Story
3:39 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Latest On The Water Wars

We reported last week on a little town in New Mexico where the taps had run dry. Stories like this are going to become more frequent, as an increasing population battles over a decreasing critical resource.

Some news out of Nevada echoes the same concern — too little water and too many people. Las Vegas is ever thirsty, and in their ongoing and remarkably successful efforts to secure water resources for their desert metropolis, their water authority has proposed a massive pipeline that would funnel billions of gallons of water from the Nevada-Utah border east.

According to the Associated Press, the issue gets a hearing in court in Ely, Nev., at the end of this week.

The water rights were granted to the Southern Nevada Water Authority by the state engineer, Jason King, last year. He allowed the water authority permission to pump tens of thousands of acre-feet of groundwater each year from counties that border Utah.

But opponents — some 350 Nevada and Utah plaintiffs — claim the export will devastate farmers and residents.

The 263-mile pipeline is aimed at reducing Las Vegas' dependence on Colorado River water, a resource that has been steadily shrinking in supply over the past decade.

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