Judge slashes Southern Nevada Water Authority

SNWA loses right to suck 6- billlion gallons of water a year from under Nevada desert valleys-

This is a blockbuster decision for the high desert of Nevada and western Utah and against the same old pattern of urban sprawl for Las Vegas. The state supreme court could yet rule for SNWA. It’s a big loss for Harry Reid and Pat Mulroy; and, of course, the developers.

PIPELINE PLANS: Judge kills water ruling. Permission for agency to tap three rural valleys rejected. By Henry Brean. Las Vegas Review Journal.

“Judge Norman Robison ruled that State Engineer Tracy Taylor ‘abused his discretion’ and ‘acted arbitrarily, capriciously and oppressively’ when he cleared the authority to pump more than 6 billion gallons of groundwater a year from Cave, Delamar and Dry Lake valleys.”


Ooops! Judge: No SNWA Pumping From Cave, Delamar, and Dry Lake Valleys. WaterWired.
Las Vegas loses water rights to key valleys. Chance of Rain

This decision and its importance was a little slow to dawn on the major newspapers. The Las Vegas Review Journal got it right from the start, however. The Las Vegas Sun, “sin city’s” “liberal newspaper” doesn’t seem to have covered it yet.
New 10/29. Nevada ruling could burst Las Vegas pumping plan. Snake Valley » Judge blisters official’s decision favoring Vegas. By Patty Henetz. Salt Lake Tribune. [this] “could doom Las Vegas’s plan to build a 300-mile, $3.5 billion pipeline from Snake Valley, which lies mainly in Utah, to the desert megalopolis.
Vegas water agency vows fight for groundwater plan. The Associated Press

Some photos ↓


The Snake Valley which stores underground the rain and snow that falls on the Snake mountain range in the background. Copyright Ralph Maughan. 2007


  1. kt Avatar

    This is great news!

    Pat Mulroy’s thuggish SNWA operation is running roughshod over the public and public lands in many other ways, too.

    Especially in promoting continued welfare public landsgrazing by domestic cattle and disease-infested domestic sheep on hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of acres of Nevada BLM lands where SNWA acquired the permits when buying base properties that ranchers sold to them. For example, SNWA bought out the vast El Tejon permits (ranch was based out of Bakersfield CA but devastated a lot of central NV, too) – that include grazing disease-infested domestic sheep near the beleaguered bighorn sheep populations in Great Basin National Park. I understand the Park has finally gotten rid of the last of the domestics,but NOT Ely BLM – who continues to try to foist SNWA sheep onto BLM lands adjacent to the Park.

  2. jdubya Avatar

    I agree kt. Interesting that a swarm of Utah officials pouring over these documents could not see the fraud but an overworked judge could? This defines the word “collusion”.

  3. Elizabeth Parker Avatar
    Elizabeth Parker

    This news gives me good reason to be happy. Great news for Utah and Nevada!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan