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   About GBWN — The Great Basin Water Network (GBWN) protects the water resources of the Great Basin for current and future residents. GBWN is an all volunteer 501c3 Non-Government Organization (NGO). GBWN supports water conservation programs for urban and rural communities that address economic incentives for water smart-practices as opposed to building multi-million dollar water extraction projects. Read the latest GBWN Newsletter [6 Pages] Water Gab Newsletter

   Litigation — Southern Nevada Water Authority's plans to convey millions of gallons of groundwater from central and eastern Nevada to Las Vegas have generated a deluge of legal challenges at the state and federal level. Pending before the Nevada Supreme Court is the appeal of Judge Estes' district court decision. At the federal level, GBWN's appeal of BLM's Record of Decision and Final EIS awaits action in federal district court in Las Vegas. Participating parties challenging the water decisions in court include Nevada and Utah local governments, Tribes, businesses, non-profit organizations (like GBWN) and a long list of citizens who have joined the fight: Read the legal Arguments.

   New Information & Documents [August / September 2014]
USGS Report — Hydrology Groundwater Movement, Snake Valley
Nevada State Engineer — Report to the Public Lands Committee on Listening Sessions
Pacific Institute — Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines: Towards a Common Approach to Report Water Issues

   GBWN Events
2015 Calendars Available Now — enjoy a stunning scene from Snake Valley
June 19-21, 2015 The Snake Valley Festival

   In The News — Below are press stories about the ongoing drought in the west, as well as information about the Southern Nevada Water Authority’ (SNWA) “Water Grab” proposed in eastern Nevada and northwestern Utah, along with other development projects that threaten water resources of the Great Basin. [Note: Stories open in new browser window]

October 18, 2014 — [News Release] Ranchers, Activists Decry the “Mother of all Military Land Grabs” "On its face, this land grab is unnecessary and unjustified," said Steve Erickson of the Citizens Education Project. . . “We hear that the Air Force wants to own these lands to protect the UTTR from encroachment, but this land grab would be an unwarranted encroachment upon the residents of Snake Valley,” according to Callao rancher Annette Garland . . . Garland is also worried about the potential impact or loss of access to water rights. Snake Valley residents have been in a ten-year fight to prevent their groundwater from being exported to Las Vegas. View the Map

October 17, 2014 —
These maps of water use show why the Western US is in trouble — The American West has been wrestling with drought for the past 15 years. California is now facing its worst dry spell in at least a century. So, not surprisingly, the question of how best to manage America's scarce freshwater supplies is coming up more frequently. To that end, the Hamilton Project recently published a helpful primer, "Nine Economic Facts about Water in the United States." The whole thing's worth reading, but four maps and charts in particular stuck out. For starters, some of the driest states in the West actually have some of the highest rates of household water use — Vox.com

Lake Oroville in California in August. Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images October 14, 2014 — The Risks of Cheap Water — This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns. It will get worse. As climate change and population growth further stress the water supply from the drought-plagued West to the seemingly bottomless Great Lakes, states and municipalities are likely to impose increasingly draconian restrictions on water use — NY Times.com

October 10, 2014 — Latest study should further dampen Las Vegas’ appetite for rural groundwater — A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey published this summer has added credence and hard numbers to the arguments from opponents to a plan by Las Vegas water utilities to tap 84,000 acre-feet of groundwater from valleys in White Pine and Lincoln counties — By Thomas Mitchell , Published in the Ely Times

Boats make their way towards the Las Vegas Boat Harbor on Lake Mead Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. (Sam Morris/Las Vegas Review-Journal)October 10, 2014 — Desalination looking like a better option every day — instead of looking north for an abundant source of water for future growth in Southern Nevada, should officials be scouting West?

It’s a question readers ask almost every time there’s a discussion of water use in the Silver State. They wonder whether investing in seawater desalination today makes more sense in the long run than tapping into politically untenable and possibly unreliable sources of water from our already parched region — By JOHN L. SMITH LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

October 08, 2014 — Colorado River water-conservation effort to begin — Providers of municipal water in Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado are starting a conservation program for the Colorado River system. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday began soliciting project proposals for water conservation from Colorado River entitlement holders in Arizona, California and Nevada. Water users in the river's Upper Basin will be invited to participate in the agreement at a later date — AP

October 07, 2014 — Lake Mead rings in 50 years as recreation area — The view of Lake Mead was not so different 50 years ago. On Oct. 8, 1964, the day Congress voted to designate the country’s largest man-made reservoir as its first National Recreation Area, visitors also were struck by the sight of a giant white bathtub ring marking where water used to be — LRJ.com

October 05, 2014 — Hoover Dam delivered, but Nevada could have gotten more — Editor’s Note: Nevada 150 is a yearlong series highlighting the people, places and things that make up the history of the state.The most important structure ever built in Nevada is barely in Nevada at all. As large as it is, the entirety of Hoover Dam — the power plant, spillways, support structures and the dam itself — covers less than one square mile, and roughly half of that is in Arizona — By HENRY BREAN LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

October 05, 2014 — In virtual mega-drought, California avoids defeat — A few years ago a group of researchers used computer modeling to put California through a nightmare scenario: Seven decades of unrelenting mega-drought similar to those that dried out the state in past millennia. "The results were surprising," said Jay Lund, one of the academics who conducted the study. The California economy would not collapse. The state would not shrivel into a giant, abandoned dust bowl. Agriculture would shrink but by no means disappear — LA Times

October 05, 2014 — Subsurface water intakes feasible for desalination plant, study finds — A study regarding a controversial proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach determined that subsurface intakes are technically feasible for the project. A panel of experts selected by the California Coastal Commission and plant builder Poseidon Water concluded that two types of systems — seabed and beach intakes — are possible to build at the proposed site, according to a draft report published Sept. 22 — LA Times

October 03, 2014 — Op-ed: We tried to tell you about Snake Valley water — We sincerely appreciate The Salt Lake Tribune’s coverage of proposed groundwater pumping in Spring and Snake Valleys in eastern Nevada and western Utah. The recent editorial (“The water in Snake Valley should stay in Snake Valley,” Sept. 25) and Sept. 23 article are excellent examples of this. We also welcome reports by the U.S. Geological Survey and Utah Geological Survey upon which the Sept. 23 article draws. Notably, both studies illustrate the sensitivity of Snake Valley to excess pumping SLT

October 03, 2014 — Infographic 196 drought maps reveal just how thirsty California has become — It doesn't take much to understand why California is so worried about drought. Reservoirs are ever-dwindling. Rainfall is sporadic at best — LA Times

Snake Valley, Nevada / Utah October 03, 2014 — Report warns of damages from pumping aquifer water to LV — The Southern Nevada Water Authority’s expensive plan to pipe water from Northern Nevada and western Utah to Las Vegas Valley spigots appears to have sprung another leak. A recently released study by the U.S. Geological Survey that analyzed the potential impact on the region the SNWA is looking to tap makes it clear the Las Vegas water grab would substantially damage the regional aquifer — By JOHN L. SMITH, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Lake Mead in December 2012. Photo/Allen BestOctober 02, 2014 — Good intentions, bad information & the declining waters of Lake Mead — For Brad Udall, family history and public policy in the Colorado River mingle. His father was Morris K. Udall, a congressman from Arizona who pushed hard for the Central Arizona Project, which was approved by Congress in 1968. His uncle Stewart Udall, a former Arizona congressman, was secretary of Interior when CAP was approved — by Allen Best, mountaintownnews.net

October 02, 2014 — With Dry Taps and Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate . . . State officials say that at least 700 households have no access to running water, but they acknowledge that there could be hundreds more, with many rural well-owners not knowing whom to contact. Tulare County, just south of Fresno — nytimes.com

October 02, 2014 — Ban on uranium mining at Grand Canyon upheld by Arizona court — A coalition of conservation groups are hailing an Arizona judge’s decision this week to uphold the Obama administration’s 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims across 1 million acres of public lands adjacent to Grand Canyon — The Guardian

September 29, 2014 — Partnership To Help Manage Colorado River Through Climate Change — The U.S. Interior Secretary visited the Glen Canyon Dam Saturday to celebrate its 50th anniversary. She also had another very important agenda item -- the vulnerability of the Colorado River and its water supply — Fronterasdesk.org

September 25, 2014 — Editorial The water that lies in Snake Valley should stay in Snake Valley — Leave Snake Valley water alone . . . Sorry, Las Vegas, but the water that lies in Snake Valley should stay in Snake Valley — sltrib.com

September 2014 — When the Snows Fail, The American West faces persistent drought, whether or not relief comes this winter . When will the hard choices be made?
By By Michelle Nijhuis – Photographs by Peter Essick, National Geographic Magazine

  The Impact of Snowpack
  Tapping the West
  Living With Fire

Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune September 23, 2014 — Study: Nevada withdrawals would hurt Snake Valley springs —For years, Snake Valley ranchers and environmentalists have complained Las Vegas’ designs on rural groundwater would wreck their livelihoods and dry up fragile desert ecosystems in Utah’s West Desert. After years of groundwater monitoring and data analysis, new science is now confirming those fears—which are driven by the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s (SNWA) proposal to tap Snake Valley aquifers. The U.S. Geological Survey last week published conclusions that the proposed withdrawals will depress groundwater levels and reduce discharge into the springs that support agriculture in this remote region straddling the Utah-Nevada line west of Delta — sttrib.com [Link to USGS sutdy — Report: 2014-5103]

September 22, 2014 — Editorial: Utah should not hide the true cost of water Don’t dilute the price of water — A new report from the Utah Foundation points out something that should be obvious: Using property taxes to subsidize the delivery of water to homes and businesses in this, the second-most arid state in the nation, distorts the market and hides the true cost of collecting, treating and delivering water — sttrib.com

September 21, 2014 — More drought forecast next year across West — RENO, Nev. Forecasters say severe drought or worse will continue into next year across much of the West, including parts of western Utah, most of Nevada and practically all of California. Below-normal precipitation and normal or above-normal temperatures are forecast in the week ahead, according to the National Weather Service, and experts say the three-year drought isn't likely to be relieved in October, November and December — AP [More Coverage — Truckeeriver.org]

September 18, 2014 — With Close to Average Runoff, Lake Mead Holds Its Own in Late Summer — Lake Mead, the vast reservoir behind iconic Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas, is holding its own in later summer, after plummeting in July past levels not seen since it first filled in the 1930s. The surface elevation of Lake Mead reached the historic low of 1,081.75 feet above sea level during the week of July 7, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. On Aug. 13, the bureau reported the level at 1,080. But as of Wednesday, it had inched back to 1,081.31. — Inewsnetwork.org

September 17, 2014 — Flowing Toward 2050: Utah’s Water Outlook — Utah’s population is projected to grow by 2.5 million people in the next 35 years. The implications of this projected growth are far reaching for state and local agencies and for policy makers. Previous reports in the 2014 population growth series have discussed where growth will occur, who new Utahns will be, and what they will need to continue to have the quality of life that current Utahns enjoy. This report, the third in a four-part series, focuses on the interaction between population growth and future water supply — UtahFoundation.org

September 17, 2014 — Sweeping new California groundwater pumping rules signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown — SACRAMENTO — For centuries, California's groundwater has been freely available to anyone who could siphon the coveted natural resource from the earth. But that changed Tuesday with the stroke of a pen. Seeking to replenish a depleted water table and catch up with the rest of the West, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills sought by environmentalists that will regulate groundwater pumping for the first time in state history — ContraCostaTimes.com

Photo , Ray Boren September 17, 2014 — Groups appeal decision in Utah nuclear power plant case — SALT LAKE CITY — Environmental groups led by anti-nuclear activists HEAL Utah are challenging a judicial ruling that upheld Utah's decision to allow Green River water to be used in a proposed nuclear power plant . . . “The Colorado River basin is already over-allocated,” said John Weisheit, conservation director of Living Rivers, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit — DeseretNews.com

September 10, 2014 — Dramatic photographs capture the mighty Colorado River kissing the sea for the first time in 50-years off the coast of Mexico after dams were intentionally unleashed — Photographer Pete McBride followed the Colorado River as its original course was restored for the first time in 50 years; In March, Mexico's Morelos Dam unleashed billions of gallons of water allowing the river to flow to the coast; The photographer and an expedition team paddle boarded the rivers old route — By JAMES NYE FOR MAILONLINE and AP

All 2014 News Stories

   GBWN Video Files Baker Family Ranches Video The Consequences...Transporting Snake Valley Water to Satisfy a Thirsty Las Vegas: An Eastern Nevada Rancher's Story is a virtual water tour of Snake Valley. Baker Family Ranches has produced the DVD to help people understand that there is not enough water in Snake Valley to justify the Southern

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