Farming in Callao

Thursday, August 02, 2007

water grab heats up

Things are heating up in the water grab. The Utah Legislature's Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee sent a letter to the state's congressional delegation seeking support for a new $6 million study (BARCASS 2) of an aquifer that lies under Snake Valley in eastern Nevada and western Utah (

That sparked an angry response by SNWA chief Pat Mulroy ( and a friendly editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune (

Mulroy imputes nefarious motives among the legislators, claiming they are stalling or want to hog Snake Valley's "excess water" for the Wasatch Front and Cedar City. She claims environmental laws prevent any repeat of Owens Valley, where dust storms are one of the biggest environmental plagues in the US. But SNWA's sibling, the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power, has used the courts and foot-dragging for decades to thwart and delay. SNWA has plenty of lawyers and deeeeeep pockets and could do the same thing to get around environmental laws. When negative impacts hit eastern Nevada and western Utah, I bet SNWA will want lots of long-range studies then -- while the water keeps flowing south.

Please contact the Utah congressional delegation and ask them to support BARCASS 2. A draft of BARCASS 1 was recently released but some hydrologists say it misrepresents the amount of water coming into and going out of Snake Valley. BARCASS 1 makes no attempt at evaluating the impacts of the massive SNWA scheme. BARCASS 2 would do that.

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