Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, September 12, 2018

Contacts:  Abigail Johnson, Great Basin Water Network, (775) 885-0612,         
Patrick Donnelly, Center for Biological Diversity, (702) 483-0449,

Las Vegas Water Grab Pipeline Up for Crucial Thursday Vote

Southern Nevada Officials Could Permanently End Harmful Proposal

LAS VEGAS— The Southern Nevada Water Authority will decide Thursday whether to appeal a recent ruling denying water rights for its massive groundwater pipeline development project. Last month the Nevada state engineer denied water rights for the project, and a decision not to appeal could end the 29-year conflict and prevent significant losses to wetlands and wildlife habitat.

Five conservation groups today submitted a letter to the water authority’s board members encouraging them to give up their longstanding pursuit of the controversial $15 billion pipeline. The pipeline has lost a series of legal challenges in state and federal court and is at a standstill pending this decision on whether to appeal.

“The Las Vegas water grab pipeline would decimate the environment and steal water from communities in eastern Nevada,” said Abigail Johnson, president of the Great Basin Water Network. “It’s time for SNWA to abandon this environmentally and economically disastrous proposal.”

The pipeline suffered another setback this week when water-authority board member and Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak stated his opposition to the proposal, calling it “ill-conceived” in a Nevada Independent article.

“After three decades and millions of dollars, the water authority has nothing to show for its pursuit of this boondoggle,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The answer to Las Vegas’ long-term water needs isn’t to suck eastern desert valleys dry and drive wildlife to extinction. We’re hopeful that the board will make the right decision and put an end to this destructive pipeline once and for all.”

The project would siphon more than 7.8 billion gallons of precious groundwater each year from public lands in the eastern Nevada desert, pumping it more than 250 miles south to metropolitan Las Vegas.

The Great Basin Water Network was formed to protect the water resources of the Great Basin for current and future residents – human, animal, and plant. The Network is formed of organizations, businesses, and citizens committed to sustainable, local management of water.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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