Nevada and Eastern California
PO Box 8096
Reno, NV 89507
Pages updated monthly
in E. Nevada's White River Valley supplies rural agriculture
livelihoods as do many other large regional springs throughout eastern
and southern Nevada.
(Dennis Ghiglieri, May 2004)
BLM will conduct the Pipeline EIS.
Your scoping comments needed by Monday, August 1, 2005.
STOP ANOTHER OWENS VALLEY DISASTER IN EASTERN NEVADA & WESTERN UTAH
fishermen, ranchers, farmers, and city-dwellers have joined residents
in 8 rural counties in eastern Nevada and western Utah to oppose the
Las Vegas water grab and the re-creation of an Owens Valley in the two
western states. The Southern Nevada Water Authority has reactivated
dozens of well applications it filed in the early 1990’s to pump and
export 200,000 acre feet/year from the carbonate aquifer of eastern
Nevada through pipelines to support new growth in Las Vegas. That’s
enough to support an additional 800,000+ people moving into Las Vegas
or Henderson or Boulder City.
The Bureau of Land Management
is initiating an Environmental Impact Statement process to assess the
impacts of the proposed massive water exportation project. The first
step in the EIS process is called SCOPING. The BLM must ask the public
to identify all the issues which need to be studied. Nine scoping
meetings have been scheduled in Nevada and Utah in the next two weeks.
As westerners, we are faced
with witnessing eastern Nevada and the west desert of Utah being
drained because of the water needs of burgeoning growth in Las Vegas.
Our rural communities, our national parks and wildlife refuges and our
fragile desert springs are all an integral part of the west. We need to
make sure that the Las Vegas groundwater exportation project does not
result in the environmental and social disasters caused by LADWP’s
taking of Owens Valley water for nearly a century in the eastern Sierra.
YOU CAN DO: Send comments to BLM to make sure all of the
potential impacts of water exportation are studied in the EIS. Mention
as many impacts as possible, including the following:
RURAL SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ISSUES:
What impacts would water exportation have on rural communities in the
west desert and eastern Nevada and their economic future? On families
and small towns? Will the Owens Valley disaster be repeated?
NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS AND WILDLIFE
REFUGES: What are the impacts on our national and state parks,
wildlife refuges, and recreation areas of proposed water exportation,
including the Great Basin National Park, and Death Valley NP, Ash
Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Fish Springs, Pahranagat, and
Desert NWRs? Will the Ruby Marshes NWR be affected?
ISSUES: Is there any excess water which can be exported without
impacting existing water users, desert springs and sensitive species,
wildlife habitat, and recreation - in Nevada, Utah, and California?
Will the project dry up playa lakes and create toxic dust clouds, such
as has happened at Owens Lake?
IMPACTS: What are the impacts of an additional 800,000+ people
moving to southern Nevada urban areas on increased air pollution,
traffic congestion, infrastructure - more schools, police, parks, etc.,
real estate value and taxes, loss of open space and wildlife habitat?
PROCESS: Urge the BLM to make public all the technical data and
ground water models used in the EIS process, for public review since so
little is known about the groundwater flow system and where the impacts
of pumping could occur, even hundreds of miles away at Devil’s Hole at
Ash Meadows NWR and springs at the Great Basin and Death Valley
IMPACTS: How will the BLM assess the cumulative impacts of all
the pump and pipe proposals in Nevada, western Utah, and eastern
California, instead of piecemeal analysis of each pipeline project?
MONITORING AND MITIGATION: What
monitoring and mitigation is needed to identify and minimize adverse
impacts of groundwater pumping on the environment, local economies,
wildlife, etc.? How would this be enforced by the BLM in the future
(since LADWP has never lived up to its promises and agreements in Owens
your comments to:
HC 33 Box 33500
Ely, NV 89301
Comment deadline is Monday
August 1, 2005.
Sample scoping letter: Send in this sample letter and
share your concern about the pipeline proposal with the BLM. The
impacts from groundwater pumping will continue into the foreseeable
future; comment today and thank you.
If the EIS process had been created in the early 1900’s, we might have
avoided the adverse impacts on Owens Valley and nearly losing Mono
Lake. Please take advantage of the public EIS process and send BLM your
scoping issues. Together, we may be able to help prevent another Owens
Valley disaster in Nevada and western Utah.
Want to develop your own comments? See the info in our alert and
the preliminary project description below. Or to save time see
our sample letter.