Here are some questions that we should ask (and keep asking):
There is simply no physical way that SNWA could take massive amounts of water from the high deserts of Rural Nevada without causing devastating harm. So, why would SNWA even bother to claim to care about the environment?
SNWA has spent massive amounts of money trying to convince Las Vegans that the water grab is a good idea. I've heard rumors they've spent close to a Billion dollars on PR. Couldn't that money have been spent on something more productive?
If all that money spent on advertising had been spent on desalination plants, there would soon be more water available for both Nevada and California. If all SNWA wanted to do was inform the public, they could have done that on the evening news for free. Why is it so important to manipulate Las Vegas water customers?
There is enough water flowing in the Colorado River to meet Las Vegas' present needs – no matter how low Lake Mead gets. So why is SNWA trying to imply that Las Vegas could run out of water by pointing to Lake Mead levels?
Why are both Lakes Powell and Mead so low, while all of the lakes below them are full? Why have the river flow rates further South been so high? Has SNWA decided to store Lake Mead and Powell water near the Mexican border? If so, why? Are they trying to scare residents of Las Vegas by drawing down Lake Mead?
For now, SNWA claims that its cheaper to take water from Rural Nevada than make fresh water from sea water, and trade that water for a bigger allotment of the Colorado River. Why are costs more important than doing the right thing? Or is it the profits vs. trades (take vs. make) decisions that are driving SNWA executives?
The price of desalination keeps coming down. And the price of the pipeline keeps going up. Maybe Southern Nevada can hold off until its cheaper to desalinate. Why hasn't someone from SNWA estimated when the costs will be comparable?
Desalination can be accomplished in small steps – as needed. The pipeline has to be built completely, requiring a huge up-front commitment. What if Southern Nevada doesn't grow as expected? What if the predicted water isn't there? The pipeline requires a huge risk that desalination doesn't require. Why take the risk?
Offshore desalination, utilizing wave power, can be accomplished with minimal environmental impact. Las Vegas can do this cheaper than California – because Vegas already has the infrastructure to recycle the water it could exchange for water they desalinate in California. Why is the environment a lower priority than cost, when we all know that the cost of extraction is just a fraction of the true costs?
There is no accurate price quote for the pipeline. Some SNWA reps are still using a two decade old price tag of 2 billion dollars. However, independent estimates have ranged as high as 20 billion dollars. How can we possibly make reasonable decisions when we really don't know the true costs?
If more water is available, that water will likely be cheaper to customers. So, why not desalinate, and make more fresh water? Could some water companies want there to be a shortage of water?
There is a potential here for multi-billion dollar profits from the water grab. How can we know that privatization is not in the pipeline's future?
SNWA receives a substantial sum of money for every new house that is built. How can we expect SNWA to make unbiased decisions when their bottom line relies upon growth?
Most of the people who live in Southern Nevada are very unhappy with how Las Vegas has grown out of control. Deadly traffic conditions are the most visible sign of growth without reasonable development of infrastructure. If most people in Las Vegas don't like how Las Vegas is growing, why are politicians so pro-growth? Who really controls Las Vegas, Southern Nevada, and Nevada politics? If it isn't the people, could it be an alliance of construction companies, land speculators, and corporations dependent upon growth? Many of these companies, speculators, and corporations don't actually reside in Southern Nevada. Do outsiders have more control over Nevada politics than the people who live here?
Do those people who have the most control over the fate of Nevada care more about short term profits than the long term well-being of our State?
The water grab is the next step in making Rural Nevada the Nation's toxic waste dump. Does Las Vegas really want that? Of course not. What do we really want? These are our communities. This is our State. This is our future. What do we want Nevada to be like in 10, 20, or 50 years? Let's make that happen.