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No SNWA Pipeline! Let's Keep the SPRING in Spring Valley!

by Barbara Richardson Tuesday, Jun. 05, 2012 at 2:32 PM

539 members of the Goshute tribe in western Utah are all that stand between the Southern Nevada Water Authority and a proposed multi-billion-dollar pipeline that would “pump billions of gallons of groundwater” from the Goshutes’ home in Spring Valley “to parched Las Vegas,” in a 92" wide pipe that would run for 300 miles.

But how parched is Las Vegas—with its velvety golf courses, casino swimming pools and glittering public fountains—compared to the Deep Creek Valley Goshute Reservation, which receives the lowest annual rainfall in the state of Utah?

A cover article in Salt Lake's City Weekly alerted me to this disaster in the making. The Goshutes, who are on the leading edge of the SNWA water fight, have a different approach to water—one we would all do well to study. They revere it.

“In the Goshute language . . . water is referred to as a human being, a living entity. It is in the water that the spirits of their ancestors reside. If the water goes to Las Vegas’ fountains and man-made Venetian canals, the spirits will go there, too.” So says Rupert Steele, former chairman of the council of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation.

According to the BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement, groundwater pumping in these rural valleys would damage 300 springs and 120 miles of streams.


From the Goshute Tribe website:

“SNWA’s groundwater development application is the biggest threat to the Goshute way of life since European settlers first arrived on Goshute lands more than 150 years ago.” The Goshutes request our help in acknowledging their rights and addressing their concerns.

Please support the Goshutes and local ranchers who are about to have their water pumped out from under them. The BLM’s environmental review comes out this July for public comment, with a final decision about the pipeline in September. We need to draw national attention to the SNWA’s proposed water grab now.

Water—the very lifeblood of the entire nation of Goshutes, and of the local ranchers already living at the edge of survival—can't be harvested like wheat or mined like coal.

Not with a citizenry who says NO.

Imagine a 92" pipeline running through your back yard. Then do something:

Forward this blog link and/or talk to friends interested in sustainability and water equity. Get them to spread the message and links afar.

Contact local writers and any powerful journalists you know, to help generate national attention. Writing letters to local newspapers would also be great.

Volunteer for and contribute to the Great Basin Water Network—the volunteer environmental group dedicated to terminating the pipeline.

Attend the Snake Valley Festival, a fun fundraising weekend to support GBWN, June 15-17.

Contribute time and money to the Goshute Nation.

Contribute to Center for Biological Diversity, who have lobbied tirelessly on this issue, and have raised awareness about the Las Vegas water grab. Thank them for their work.

Leave comments on the BLM’s draft environmental impact statement. Comments may be mailed: Penny Woods, BLM Project Manager, PO Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520, faxed: 775-861-6689, or emailed: nvgwprojects [at]

Help raise a ruckus! You will be glad you did. And the Goshutes, ranchers, foxes, snakes, gophers, and countless flocks of resident birds who nestle in the swamp cedars of beautiful Spring Valley, Utah, will thank you, too. Let’s keep the spring in Spring Valley.
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First Las Vegas politician speaks against SNWA pipeline Joe Hogan, Assemblyman, District 10 Thursday, Jun. 07, 2012 at 2:32 PM

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