Friday, September 08, 2006

Who Will Subsidize SNWA?

Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) expects the cost of the pipeline network to be around $2 Billion. But that's just the projected construction costs. There are a number of other costs Southern Nevada hopes that the rest of us will pay.

SNWA has applied to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for rights-of-way to construct and operate their Groundwater Development (GWD) Project facilities. These facilities will be located predominantly on public lands. The rest of the country should not have to subsidize Southern Nevada's growth. If SNWA wishes to use public lands, they should have to pay for that privilege.

Pumping water out of Rural Nevada will almost certainly detrimentally effect BLM land. And, the pipeline will almost certainly result in lower property values of BLM land nearby. If, when BLM decides to sell or trade this land, will SNWA make up for the lost revenue? Presently, there is no provision for them to. The rest of the Country should be reimbursed for this loss.

The pipeline network will almost certainly result in lower property values of private land in Central Nevada and Western Utah. This is essentially an indirect subsidy of SNWA, forced upon the very people whom SNWA intends to take the water from (underneath their homes). When private land owners near the drained lands sell, will SNWA make up for the lower sale value? They should. The victims of this water grab totally object to further subsidizing Southern Nevada's growth.

But there may be more.

What if Las Vegas fails to grow as predicted? Who will have to pay? Las Vegas residents, most likely. But if they complain bad enough, wouldn't you expect Southern Nevada to “ask” for help from the rest of the State?

What if the construction costs over run the projected cost ? Who will have to pay? Maybe Las Vegas will raise local taxes. But after a point, they'll start to look for money elsewhere. Would the very people who will suffer the most from this project be “asked” to help pay for it?


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