Farming in Callao

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Resolution of Utah Interim Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment

Below is the original text of a non-binding resolution unanimously passed in the 9-20-06 meeting of the Resolution of the UT interim committee on natural resources, agriculture, and environment. The resolution asks (1) Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr and his staff to wait until adequate science is available before signing a water-sharing agreement with Nevada and (2) to include a Snake Valley resident on the negotiating team.

An effort was made to remove language asking for the inclusion of a resident of Snake Valley on the UT negotiation team working on the UT-NV agreement mandated in public law 108-424. That suggestion was dismissed by the committee and the request for direct Snake Valley participation was left in the resolution.

This resolution will be presented to the Utah legislature when they meet at the beginning of 2007. As a Utahn (you can tell a Utahn because everyone else spells it correctly -- Utahan) please contact your legislators asking them to support this resolution.

For news stories about this resolution, see Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune.


General Description:

  • This joint resolution of the Legislature expresses to the Governor the will of the Legislature regarding the division of the aquifer shared with Nevada.
Highlighted Provisions:
This resolution:
-urges the Governor to:
  • consider the consequences of a potential groundwater development project;
  • involve the citizens in developing the division agreement with Nevada;
  • refrain from entering into the division agreement with Nevada until scientific studies have been completed; and
  • send a copy of the resolution to various parties.
Special Clauses:

Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

WHEREAS, there is an interstate aquifer underlying Snake Valley in western Utah and eastern Nevada;

WHEREAS, this aquifer is the source of the springs, seeps, and wells that support the citizens' livelihoods and fragile ecosystem in Snake Valley and other areas of western Utah;

WHEREAS, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has filed groundwater applications with the Nevada State Engineer to pump 50,680 acre-feet of water annually out of the aquifer as part of the Clark, Lincoln, and White Pine Counties Groundwater Development Project;

WHEREAS, the impacts this groundwater development project could have on the water resources, land, economy, wildlife, and overall quality of life in western Utah greatly concern the citizens of the state.

WHEREAS, Public Law 108-424, the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004, requires the United States Geological Survey to conduct a study, known as the Basin and Range Carbonate Aquifer System Study, of the groundwater basins adjacent to Utah;

WHEREAS, the study will determine the approximate volume of water in the aquifer, the discharge and recharge characteristics of the aquifer, and the hydrogeologic and other controls that govern the aquifer system;

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Land Management's environmental impact study for the groundwater development project will analyze the environmental impacts associated with the anticipated groundwater withdrawal;

WHEREAS, the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004 requires Utah and Nevada to reach an agreement dividing the water resources of the interstate groundwater flow systems; and

WHEREAS, the Governor has assured the citizens of western Utah that he would not approve a project that would compromise peoples' lives and livelihoods, and there would be some continuity to their quality of life.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature urges the Governor to carefully assess the groundwater development project's potential economic, social, and environmental consequences in Utah.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature urges the Governor to allow public participation in the development of the agreement with Nevada by inviting a citizen from Snake Valley to participate in the negotiations with Nevada and allowing public review and comment on a preliminary draft of the agreement.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature urges the Governor to refrain from entering into an agreement with Nevada until scientific studies are complete to ensure that there is an adequate scientific basis on which to form an agreement.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Governor of the state of Utah, the Governor of the state of Nevada, the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, the Director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Utah State Engineer, the Nevada State Engineer, the General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and a representative of the Snake Valley Citizen's Alliance.


kenfhill said...
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Anonymous said...

Way to go Utahns! Do the right thing UT politicians!!