Proposed Southern Nevada Water Authority Development Project in Eastern Nevada
Revised: June 8, 2007
This page began as a followup page for a public meeting held in Snake Valley
on March 15, 2005. Subsequent to the meeting this page was expanded to
provide ongoing information regarding the project.
06/01/2007 The BARCASS public draft reports have been released and
are available on the BARCASS website at http://nevada.usgs.gov/barcass/pubs.cfm.
There is a main report and and six related publications which are a result
of the study. Public comment is being taken for 60 days from release date. The
report is a scientific work which seeks to extend the understanding of
ground-water resources in Eastern Nevada and Western Utah. It is not a
decision making document for the SNWA project nor does it resolve issues
in the agreement process between Utah and Nevada other than to provide scientific
data which may be helpful in those decisions.
04/18/2007 An update on Utah/Nevada agreement progress was presented to
Utah Legislature Natural Resources Interim Committee by Natural Resources Executive Director
04/16/2007 The Nevada State Engineer released his decision on
SNWA groundwater export applications
in Spring Valley (the next valley west of Snake Valley in Nevada). The decision
is available on the Nevada State Engineer Website.
03/26/2007 USGS Director of the Nevada Science Center, Kimball Goddard
will present status and information from the BARCASS study at the Utah Department
of Natural Resources Auditorium, 1594 W. North Temple, SLC in a 1:00pm public
03/23/2007 Two information meetings on agreement negotiations and concerns
were held in Snake Valley. Lieutenant Governor Herbert, Natural Resources Executive Director
Styler, and Boyd Clayton (water rights) provided information at the meetings
on Utah's position and progress of negotiations.
The first meeting was at the Great Basin National Park Overlook at 11:00 am. The
second meeting at the West Desert High School at 3:30pm.
02/13/2007 The Utah Legislature passed a resolution
regarding action on groundwater in Snake Valley.
01/12/2007 Revised this page to correctly reflect the extension of
EIS scoping comments to October 17, 2006. An item on this page
incorrectly implied the scoping period was extended beyond that date.
11/08/2006 An information meeting with Snake Valley residents was
held at the Garrision Firestation at 6:30pm where we discussed the water right
analysis which has been conducted as part of the Utah/Nevada agreement
discussions. Maps were presented which indicated the Division of Water Rights
current understanding of irrigation water rights in the basin. A
online map server is available to view the data.
09/20/2006 The Utah Legislative Interim Committee for Agriculture,
Natural Resources, and Environment requested the Division of Water Rights
describe work relative to the Utah/Nevada Agreement process. Boyd Clayton
from the Division provided a Power Point Presentation.
The committee voted to endorse a resolution on the agreement
process being drafted for the next legislative session. The committee asked
that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to several entities including
the Utah State Engineer.
09/18/2006 EIS scoping comments due. The BLM has re-opened scoping
on the ground-water pumping project proposal. Details are on the
BLM Nevada Website. Two changes in the
project are noted in the revised scoping material.
09/05/2006 EIS scoping comments due date was extended to October 17,2006.
See the BLM Nevada Website for details.
08/15/2006 Public information meetings on the agreement process
were held at West Desert High School and Garrision. A
Presentation was provided which summarized
information which has been presented to Nevada regarding Utah's position
on hydrology and water rights.
07/24/2006 A BARCASS project review meeting is scheduled for 6:00 pm
at the USGS Nevada Water Science Center in Carson City, Nevada.
07/07/2006 A petition was filed with the Nevada State Engineer to
re-open the advertising and protest period on SNWA water right applications.
07/07/2006 The Nevada State Engineer posted evidence submitted
for the Spring Valley hearing in September on his website.
06/21/2006 Staff from the Utah Division of Water Rights will
be in Snake Valley for several weeks, reviewing existing water right uses and compiling data for
negotiation of an agreement with Nevada required under public law 108-424.
report on Great Basin National Park was released by the USGS.
05/22-23/2006 BARCASS review meeting were held in Ely, Partoun, and
Baker. The meetings provided a brief summary of BARCASS activities. The
majority of the time at the meetings was spent describing the process and
advantages of developing a groundwater model for the area and encouraging
support from the public for an additional study project which would develop
a groundwater model.
04/19/2006 The Utah Legislative Agriculture, Natural Resources, and
Environment Interim Committee discussed the Utah/Nevada agreement as part of
their monthly meeting. Presentations were given, public input was accepted and
the legislature asked questions and expressed their opinions on the subject. An
of the meeting is available.
03/08/2006 The Nevada State Engineer published his decision on issues
from the pre-hearing held in January. The hearings are to
begin on September 11, 2006 for SNWA applications in Spring Valley. Additional hearings
will be scheduled for Snake Valley applications, and a final hearing for the
remaining applications. The decision is available on the
Nevada State Engineer Website.
01/11/2006 SNWA met with the White Pine County Commission to explore
the possibility of a water agreement with the county. White Pine County is
currently struggling financially. SNWA proposed apparently unspecified
environmental protections and suggested the county could under state law charge
a water export fee. Some county commissioners apparently believe the time
has come to work toward agreement with SNWA while at least one commissioner
(Gary Perea) expressed concern SNWA must provide information to really evaluate
the effects of their project before an agreement can be considered. See
Review Journal Article: WATER PIPELINE PROPOSAL: White Pine open to talks
01/05/2006 The Nevada State Engineer held a pre-hearing on water right
applications for the SNWA groundwater export project filed about 15 years ago.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and develop the process under which
hearings would be held for the water right applications. Participating in the
meeting were the state engineer and his staff, representatives from SNWA, and
protestants who could still be contacted and their representatives. Where
possible decisions were made in the meeting through consensus but in the end
there was disagreement between the parties on a majority of issues so the
state engineer took comment and will issue a decision on an unspecified date
which will describe the hearing process.
11/01/2005 Utah Governor Jon Huntsman visited Snake Valley and met
with residents. The Governor expressed support in protecting the water rights
and life style of west desert residents. See
Salt Lake Tribute: 11/02/05 article titled "Governor gets primed for water dispute"
by Joe Baird
04/08/2005 The BLM began soliciting comments for an EIS on the
SNWA groundwater export project. Scoping meetings were held in Nevada and
Utah over a period of almost a month. The deadline for comments was initially
June 15, 2005 and was later extended to August. During the period Lincoln
County Nevada requested their project also be considered as part of the
EIS process. The BLM concluded the project scope changed and put the project
on hold while they re-evaluate how the EIS is to be conducted.
03/15/2005 The Utah State Engineer held a public meeting in Snake Valley to
discuss the SNWA proposal and federal legislation which relates to it. The
following information from the meeting is available:
11/30/2004 The President of the United States signed into law HR4593
which provides for a $6 million study of the aquifers in White Pine County
Nevada and adjacent areas called BARCASS. The bill also directs the State of
Utah and the State of Nevada to enter into an agreement dividing their shared
ground water basins before any export of water can occur.