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Help Las Vegas Conserve Water! No Aquifer Drawdown!

by SNWA Call for Abstracts Til 1/30 Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008 at 11:23 AM

We need your help to protect the Snake and Spring Valley aquifers from being drawn down by Las Vegas water demands. One way people can help is to encourage a diversity of water conservation measures that Las Vegas and Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) could try as alternatives to pumping and draining distant aquifers yet intact. People are given the chance to send SNWA their ideas for abstracts for an upcoming Water Innovations Conference later in '09, abstracts due by 1/30/09. Even if you cannot go there, send them your ideas for water conservation anyway!!

There is a great potential risk to unique and rare species of the Snake and Spring Valley ecosystems in eastern Nevada that depend on springs and seeps from the groundwater aquifer underneath these valleys. Aquifer drawdown occurs when excess water is pumped out of the aquifer and the water table drops, drying up springs and seeps. Species at risk of extinction from an aquifer drawdown are the Bonneville cutthroat trout (Salmo clarki Utah Suckley) and the least chub (Iotichthys phlegethontis), a small minnow known to reside in the Snake Valley Aquifer.

from Great Basin Water Network;

"Up to 200,000 acre-feet annually of Great Basin's groundwater

headed to Las Vegas?

The Southern Nevada Water Authority, the water agency for Las Vegas, Henderson, and N. Las Vegas proposes to pump up to 200,000 acre-feet annually from eastern Nevada and send it through 300 miles of pipeline to support the area's uncontrolled growth. The cost is currently estimated at .5 billion dollars.

Just how much water is 200,000 acre-feet annually? It is more than 65 billion gallons of water – every year. (That's equivalent to the average flow of Nevada's only river contained entirely within the State – the famed Humboldt River.) SNWA claims that it can pump and permanently remove the water from the eastern Nevada's desert valleys without any harm to people or to wildlife.

Independent hydrologists dispute it is possible to pump and export so much water without causing major environmental degradation and destroying the livelihoods of rural residents in eastern Nevada and western Utah. The area targeted for the massive pumping proposal is home to National Wildlife Refuges in Nevada and Utah, important state wildlife management areas, Native American communities and dozens of small, rural agricultural communities who have been living in balance with the limited water supplies of the region for over a century. Great Basin National Park is surrounded by the proposed groundwater pump and export project. The proposed pumping scheme would bring two hundred or more wells with power lines, roads, and linked buried pipelines to cover the valleys on both sides of the National Park – some right on the border of the park. Communities like Baker, Nevada on the Utah border would have large production wells in their backyard sending local water to a city 300 miles away. Ranchers throughout the Snake Valley believe that water they depend on for their agricultural livelihoods will "dry up" if the project is approved.

A recent report by the Pacific Institute outlines the steps Las Vegas, Henderson, and N. Las Vegas could take today to save nearly 90,000 acre-feet of water per year without importing a single drop. Check out Hidden Oasis: Water Conservation and Efficiency in Las Vegas.

Learn more: "Understanding Environmental Issues related to the Southern Nevada Water Authority's Proposed Groundwater Development Project" for how the proposed pipeline project will damage people and wildlife."

more info @;

Recently the Las Vegas regions SNWA has attempted to purchase water right for pumping aquifer water from these aquifers in order to meet growing demands of casinos, golf courses and other water needs, including the general public. However, for being the driest city in the nation, Las Vegas is lagging in potential water conservation measures that would make this aquifer water removal uneeded. We can help by offering suggestions in abstracts for their upcoming conference such as water recycling, native drought tolerant landscaping and low flow showers...

from SNWA;

"WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition issues Call for Abstracts

Experts in the field of water efficiency are invited to submit abstracts for the second WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, slated for Oct. 7-9, 2009, in Las Vegas.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is Jan. 30, 2009. Professionals, scientists, government employees, organizations, public and private institutions, policy makers, students and all others working in an industry related to water efficiency are invited to submit an abstract for an oral presentation, panel discussion or workshop.

The inaugural WaterSmart Innovations, held Oct. 8-10, 2008, was the largest and most comprehensive conservation-specific conference of its kind in the world. Event organizers hope to build upon this groundbreaking event, created to broaden the knowledge of innovations in water conservation including products, programs and outreach. All topics related to innovations in water conservation will be considered. Potential topics include:

Conservation and Incentive Program Management

Drought Management Planning

Alternate Sources

Rainwater/Greywater/Stormwater Harvesting

Sustainable Construction and Development

High Efficiency Fixtures and Appliances

Policy Development/Public Outreach

Landscapes and Outdoor Water Use

Marketing Conservation Programs

Education (youth, adult)

Candidates chosen as presenters will be notified by e-mail and postal mail no later than March 15, 2009. A complete list of topics and submittal guidelines is available on the WaterSmart Innovations Web site.

The WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition is presented by the Southern Nevada Water Authority in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program and other forward-thinking organizations."

more info visit;


scroll down to WaterSmart Innovations

The SNWA will take people seriously once we show them the demand for water conservation is real, and we can show them successful measures of water conservation do exist and need to be attempted before the SNWA tries to draw down another distant aquifer without first stopping their wastefullness of water. Don't be afraid to "flood" the SNWA with abstracts so that they can see there are plenty of ideas out there they could try. A flood of abstracts may be just what this city needs!!

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