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GBWN Press Release: February 10, 2015 — Las Vegas Water Grab Appeals Rejected by Nevada Supreme Court
    Press Coverage — Las Vegas Review Journal
    Press Coverage — AP

   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 [11/2014] Water Gab Newsletter

FAQs — Read our 40 questions and answers about the Las Vegas Water Grab; learn about the Groundwater Development Project (GWDP) proposed by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) as well as the ongoing drought and over-appropriation of the Colorado River system.

   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 / March 2015]

  • TTROUBLED WATERS: Misleading industry PR and the case for public water — Corporate Accountability International
  • Top 10 Myths about Desalination — By Genevieve D. Minter and Mark Bird
  • 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

   In The News — Below are press stories about the ongoing drought in the west; information about the Southern Nevada Water Authority's "water grab" in Nevada and Utah; and other "mega" water projects that threaten the Great Basin.
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May 04, 2015 — Water Pipeline Triggers Debate About Utah's Future — In a parched corner of the nation's second driest state, the Virgin River delivers life-giving water to wildlife, farms and increasing numbers of people. Ron Thompson sees a future when four times as many people could be living here in St. George, and they’ll need more water than the Virgin can provide. That’s why he wants the Lake Powell Pipeline — Kuer.org

May 04, 2015 — Drought’s Extremes Can Be Measured at Record-Low Lake Mead — LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, Nev. — Gail Kaiser has spent much of her life here on Lake Mead, with its crystal blue water pouring into canyons and splintering off like blood vessels into coves and bays, forming the vast reservoir that stretches into two states. She was just a child when, in 1957, her father took over the marina that has stayed in her family’s hands ever since. The lake, which is part of the Colorado River system and feeds into the Hoover Dam, was designed to fluctuate like a giant bathtub — NyTimes.com

May 01, 2015 — California snowpack survey canceled: 'Drought is severe' — State water officials had planned to make the trek back to the Sierra Nevada to conduct their snowpack measurement Friday. But Thursday they announced they wouldn’t bother. For the second consecutive month, there won’t be any snow to measure. “This is just another piece of information in a series of increasingly dismal findings,” said Department of Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson. “It nails down that the drought is severe – maybe as severe as any in our history.” — LA Times

David McNew / Getty Images) May 01, 2015 — Amid drought, the West is no place for a lawn, as Nevada has learned — When Gov. Jerry Brown ordered that California rip up 50 million square feet of lawns to conserve water amid the West's deadening drought, the Golden State gasped. Meanwhile, the Silver State [Nevada] yawned. Desert denizens have already been there and done that — since 1999, in fact — LA Times

April 30, 2015 — Dead in the water, State lost years while drought worsened — Cloud seeding in a desert state may seem like a no-brainer. But six years ago, the Nevada Legislature effectively shut down the state’s program. Even at the time, it seemed shortsighted. When local officials learned of the decision, the Desert Research Institute—a scientific arm of the state—was already dismantling Sierra monitoring stations NewsReview.com

April 29, 2015 — Lake Mead water level falls to a landmark low, and is likely to get worse — For Western states enduring a debilitating drought, the news is bone-dry bad: Anemic Lake Mead has hit a historic low level. . . "The death of Lake Mead should be a wake-up call to people across the West that we need to boldly address this drought," said Howard Watts, a spokesman for the Great Basin Water Network, a nonprofit group composed of environmentalists, ranchers and Native Americans that seeks to preserve the health of the Colorado River system. "We've been slow to act, slow to react. Nobody knows when this drought is going to end. We need to become far more aggressive in areas of conservation to protect lake levels from falling even lower." — LA Times

Photo: Ian James/The Desert Sun) April 29, 2015 — Report: California needs more farm water data — The Pacific Institute has released a new report summing up what’s known about the amounts of water used for agriculture in California, and one of the takeaways is that the state lacks comprehensive and up-to-date information — DesertSun.com

April 29, 2015 — Pipeline would provide new water for North Valleys — Reno's primary water provider is poised to tap a new source of water that has sat unused but largely ready to go for nearly a decade. The $17.8 million project planned by the Truckee Meadows Water Authority would allow the utility to draw groundwater from far north of Reno and serve homes throughout the North Valleys area — RGJ.com

Bonnie Jo Mount/Washington Post) April 27, 2015 — Western drought steals clean energy along with fresh water at power plants — INSIDE HOOVER DAM — The floor rumbled under Mark Cook. His legs vibrated as he stood in a tunnel tucked into the thick base of Hoover Dam, 430 feet below the tourists looking out over Lake Mead. Beneath him, water roared through steel pipes 13 feet tall. Nearby, heavy turbines hummed with mechanical intensity. “We’re moving some good water today,” Cook, the dam manager, said proudly. Moving water means making electricity. But the drought is making that harder to do — WashingtonPost.com

April 27, 2015 — Do We Have Enough Water? —The Sierra Nevada is experiencing the most dismal snowpack in a century, causing many people to worry about the water supply — 4:48 min. To address their concerns, Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray sits down with John Erwin who heads up water planning at the Truckee Meadows Water Authority — KUNR

April 27, 2015Letter to the editorWater grab — The in-depth profile of Pat Mulroy made the mistake many others have made in evaluating her, abandoning balance and working to explain away the hypocrisies of her tenure as Las Vegas’ water boss (“Unite and Conquer,” HCN, 4/13/15) — High Country News

America.Aljazeera.com April 27, 2015 — US-Mexico water pact brings life back to Colorado River’s parched delta — LOS ALGODONES, Mexico — Mexican fieldworker Mario Mendoza, 47, had not seen the waters of the Colorado River flow through the desert of northwestern Mexico since he was a child. But after the floodgates on a dam near Los Algodones, a town on the Arizona-Mexico border, opened last year, he watched in awe as the dusty channel began to fill with water and start to flow once again toward the Sea of Cortez — America.Aljazeera.com

Lake Mead filling behind the upstream face ofHoover Dam during it's construction in 1935. April 27, 2015 — From Bad to Worse: Lake Mead Expected to Hit New Historic Low — Sometime overnight Sunday, Lake Mead, the vast reservoir behind Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas, was projected to have hit a new historic low as drought continues to throttle the Colorado River system. When we reported here on Mead last August, the lake had hit a modern-day low of 1,080.19 feet elevation above sea level. On Friday morning, the water level was at 1,080.47 feet, with Hoover Dam releasing water downstream in the neighborhood of 18,000 cubic feet per second. So the new record could have been set while we slept. You can see for yourself here — Inewsnetwork.org

April 26, 2015 — California's Doomsday Water Cycle — In California and around the world, water supply and carbon-based energy production are locked in a destructive feedback cycle. Fossil fuel extraction and combustion consume water -- lots of it. Obtaining and delivering water, in turn, requires energy -- lots of it. Too little of one yield shortages of the other. Climate change -- the result of burning too much fossil fuel while destroying forests and soils -- accelerates this cycle, disrupting the equilibrium between climate and water that enables civilization By Carl Pope – bloombergview.com

Photo by Holliday Moore/KTAR News April 26, 2015 — Water: Conserving the Colorado River's Liquid Gold — WATER LEVELS AT RECORD LOW: Over the past 15 years, the water level at Lake Mead has dropped nearly 140 feet, revealing a white, mineral bath ring that dwarfs boaters as they navigate the narrowing waterways. When this article posted, the water level was at 1,801 acre-feet. Another six feet and it will trigger an automatic shortage declaration. This summer's triple digit temperatures are threatening to siphon off the remaining margin of water. If it happens, this August, the Federal Bureau of Reclamation will announce cutbacks to the 7.5 million acre-feet of water normally delivered each year to the Colorado River Lower Basin, which includes California, Nevada, and Arizona — Ktar.com

April 23, 2015 — Savage drought will drive Lake Mead to record low on Sunday — Sunday’s forecast for Lake Mead calls for breezy conditions, with a high in the low 80s and a water level as low as it has been in 78 years. The reservoir east of Las Vegas is expected to reach a new record low this weekend and continue downward another 7 feet through June, as the drought-stricken Colorado River withers from its 12th dry year since 2000 — RJ.com

April 23, 2013 — Officials: Colorado River shortage not 'a crisis' for Az in near term — Arizona’s communities, industries, mines and Native American tribes aren’t likely to be affected during the next five years if federal officials declare a shortage on the Colorado River, officials said Wednesday. While Central Arizona Project rates may rise, deliveries for groundwater replenishment would be eliminated and central Arizona agriculture would take a hit, leaders of a workshop held at the Arizona Department of Water Resources said the state is ready for a shortage on the Colorado — Tucsonsentinel.com

April 23, 2015 — Lessons From Australia’s 17-Year Drought

April 22, 2015 — Colorado River runoff forecast gets a bit bleaker — The latest federal forecast for runoff in the Colorado River Basin is a bit gloomier than the one of just two weeks ago. It predicts April-July runoff into Lake Powell will be 47 percent of normal, compared to 52 percent of normal that was expected in early April. Dry weather in April accounts for much of the decline in forecasted runoff, said Brenda Alcorn, a senior hydrologist for NOAA's Colorado River Basin Forecast Center. NOAA is short for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — Tucson.com

April 22, 2015 — California isn’t the only state with water problems — Western states have been dealing with water problems for a while, but they won't be alone for long. As drought, flooding, and climate change restrict America's water supply, demands from population growth and energy production look set to increase, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office — Yahoo.com

April 21, 2015 — Lake Mead hits near-record low water level — 8NewsNow.com

April 21, 2015 — Jerry Brown calls tiered-water ruling ‘a straitjacket’ for conservation efforts An appellate court Monday struck down a Southern California city’s method of charging water users based on a tiered-rate system, a potential setback to municipalities across a parched state laboring to curtail water consumption under Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent order — SacBee.com

Photo credit: Shutterstock April 21, 2015 — 4 Ways to Beat the California Drought and Save the Colorado River — The epic drought in California is beatable and we can save the Colorado River. All of Southern California—including the massive farm fields in Imperial County, the grapes and golf courses in the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs, and every person from Los Angeles to San Diego—gets most of its water from the Colorado River. The very same drought that has hammered southern California is almost as bad across the entire Southwest U.S.—including in the mountains of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado which are the source of water for the Colorado River that feeds Southern California — Gary Wockner

Kirk Siegler/NPR April 17, 2015 — As Lake Mead Levels Drop, The West Braces For Bigger Drought Impact — The historic four-year drought in California has been grabbing the headlines lately, but there's a much bigger problem facing the West: the now 14-year drought gripping the Colorado River basin. One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation's largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it's the lowest it's been since it was built in the 1930s — NPR [ 4 min 34 sec]

April 16, 2015 — Coping With Western Drought With No End In Sight — In the desert, water is more valuable than gold. Drought has been gripping Nevada and the region for years. In California, Governor Jerry Brown recently demanded a 25 percent cut in residential use after the drought reached extreme proportions there. Pat Mulroy formerly of the Southern Nevada Water Authority and currently the senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy at UNLV’s Brookings Mountain West told KNPR’s State of Nevada that Gov. Brown had little choice.“What he did was his only option out there right now,” Mulroy said. Jeffrey Kightlinger agrees. He is the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern Nevada — KNPR - Nevada

April 15, 2015 — Redistribute California's Water? Not Without A Fight — The state of California is asking a basic question right now that people often fight over: What's a fair way to divide up something that's scarce and valuable? That "something," in this case, is water — NPR [ 4 min 17 sec]

Steve Erickson April 14 2015 — Salt Lake City issues water-shortage advisory — Salt Lake City took the first official step Monday to notify its residents of possible water shortages this summer. Mayor Ralph Becker issued a "stage one advisory," the first of five steps in the city's contingency plan for dealing with drought.

. . . Steve Erickson, the Utah Audubon Council's legislative advocate, called the city's advisory "an appropriate move to get people's attention. It's been a grim winter. We're likely to see this get worse so people need to start thinking about how they can conserve water — not just in Salt Lake City but around the state — Salt Lake Tribune

April 14, 2015 — California: Higher water rates on tap as utilities cover losses from drought Planning to save water this year to help with the drought? Don’t expect to save money. Water departments across California, including dozens in the Bay Area, are now looking to raise rates — in many cases by double digits — to shore up revenues as customers use less water during dry times and water sales plummet — SFGate.com

All 2015 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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