Pat Mulroy, General Manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), has proclaimed that if Las Vegas doesn't get Central Nevada's water, the city will have to stop growing by 2013... Bullsh*t!
Since Las Vegas recycles almost all of the water that goes down its drains, all the city would have to do is further reduce its evaporative losses, meaning luxury use of water, and they could continue to grow for quite some time. Southern Nevada has options. One of their options is to deny Central Nevada the economic opportunity they insist as a right for themselves.
Since no one seems to have noticed, let me remind you that a number of counties in Rural Nevada already have been forced to stop growth. That's right, forget about waiting until 2013 – they don't have enough water already.
Actually, the water is there, but Rural Nevadans can't have it. That's right, the water is there, right underneath Rural Nevadan's feet – and they can't use it. It's been spoken for. Back in the late 1980's SNWA applied to the State of Nevada for much of Central Nevada's water rights. Since then, growth in many places in Rural Nevada has been put on permanent hold.
SNWA hasn't utilized Rural Nevada's water since those applications. (Which, of course, I think is good.) But, a private citizen would have lost out on those applications after not using the water for this long. Since Las Vegas has so much power in the State of Nevada, they effectively can deny rights to the rest of the State. In a way it's as if their applications have already been approved.
It seems tragically ironic that those who have the water, can't have it – to grow food; and those who wish to waste the water, can take it – to grow unsustainably.
Of course, SNWA's water applications have not yet been approved. The Nevada Water Engineer will review the SNWA applications starting on September 11. If some of these applications are denied, parts of Rural Nevada may be allowed to grow again.