Reid's water grab


It is good to see Harry Reid's cover being blown by Ray Ring (HCN, 8/3/09). For people in rural Nevada, Reid's two-faced BS is common knowledge. Here in Lyon County, Nevada's largest ag-producing county, Sen. Reid is the power behind the $200 million added to the Farm Bill to purchase the water rights of local farmers, supposedly to save the dying Walker Lake. This lake, which has historically dried up at least four times, is to receive all the ag water from Smith and Mason valleys.

According to Tony Lesperance, director of the Nevada Department of Agriculture, this diversion of water will destroy the agricultural economy of both Smith and Mason valleys. Lesperance further states that trying to save Walker Lake would be like the state of Utah trying to reclaim the Great Salt Lake.

As Ring stated, Sen. Reid is behind the 300-mile pipeline to bring rural water to Las Vegas. Regarding Walker Lake, Sen. Reid says he is trying to create an environmental legacy. However, we residents believe he is just using the environmentalists to get control of the water. Once the water, which is currently governed by Nevada, is purchased from the local farmers and transferred to Walker Lake, it will become federal water. Then, it would be very easy for the all-powerful Sen. Reid to transfer it to Las Vegas through a water swap with Los Angeles. Of course, the senator and his staff deny that there is any such plan afoot. But let's be realistic. It is Las Vegas that elects Reid.

James Kinninger
Wellington, Nevada

High Country News Classifieds