The Wah Wah Mountains in Utah’s Great Basin
region. Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.
The Great Basin region of western Utah is under attack — there’s an ill-advised proposal to pump groundwater from rural Utah and Nevada to Las Vegas, over 300 miles away. The plan, developed by the Southern Nevada Water Authority, will authorize the extraction of over 57 billion gallons of water per year for the purpose of supporting Las Vegas’ unsustainable growth.
The withdrawal of such vast quantities of water from the arid Great Basin could significantly impact public land and ecosystems; species that rely on the Great Basin for survival — such as the greater sage grouse, southwestern willow flycatcher, mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope — could be severely harmed. The affected area includes high mountain wilderness, five national wildlife refuges, four state wildlife areas, seven state parks and Great Basin National Park.
What’s more, the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s own reports disclose that it can increase the existing water supply through conservation measures by an amount greater than the proposed pipeline would provide.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must grant a right-of-way for this destructive project to move forward. Tell BLM Director Bob Abbey to deny this right-of-way application as it is irresponsible and unacceptable to use our public lands for the purpose of aiding unsustainable development in one of the country’s most arid and fragile regions.
P.S. The BLM’s comment deadline is October 11th. Please send your message to Director Abbey as soon as possible.