Mulroy’s Plan B

 

Unite and Conquer” left out an important fact about Mulroy’s Plan B to pump groundwater from rural eastern Nevada to Las Vegas. At least part of the groundwater in question is shared with Utah and used by ranchers in Utah’s West Desert. In 2013, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert decided not to sign an agreement with Nevada over water rights in the area, which cast doubt on the future of Mulroy’s pumping project. In February 2015, the Utah Geological Survey released results from a seven-year hydro-geologic study of groundwater in the region. The study indicated that potential groundwater development in Nevada and Utah would lower groundwater levels and reduce spring flow in west central Utah that is used to support agriculture, sensitive species habitat and vegetation for grazing. In addition, the study revealed that current groundwater use is slowly depleting the aquifer. The Plan B battle lines aren’t limited to rural-vs.-urban Nevada.

Gretchen DuBois
Salt Lake City, Utah

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