Your political career is at serious risk.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
You may think of yourself as a decent person who has done a number of good things in your life. Forget all that. History will not remember you for all those things. You've heard the name Mulholland. The only thing people remember him for is the destruction of Owens Valley. You will be remembered for the destruction of the Central Great Basin. ...Of course, people will remember you for one more thing; astronomically raising their water bills. You need to find an alternative to a simple yes or no vote. And there are some very good alternatives.
You might be gullible enough to believe SNWA's low-ball estimate for the Groundwater “Development” Project (which has barely changed in 20 years). But it's very likely this is going to cost well over 5 billion dollars. In fact, I've heard one estimate, from a respectable independent source, at possibly near 20 billion dollars. So it isn't unreasonable to be prepared to pay 10 billion dollars for this.
10 BILLION DOLLARS – to be paid by a city!
Do the math.
10 billion dollars will have to be paid by the residents of Southern Nevada.
There are about 2 million people who will be stuck with this bill.
That amounts to about 5 thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in the Las Vegas Valley. For a family of four, that would mean 20 thousand dollars!
Now, in the best case scenario; SNWA claims that present residents will have to pay almost half of that. Conservatively, lets estimate 40%. For a family of four, that amounts to about 8 thousand dollars. And what will that family get for their 8 thousand dollar water bill – on top of what they already pay? Well, nothing tangible. In fact, when the bills come due, it's going to be hard to convince them that their getting anything at all for their money.
For that very reason, a yes vote on this water pipeline (from the desert) is going to be political suicide. Nobody is going to remember your good intentions. They're just going to know that their water bills that were once reasonable will become outrageous.
And what about these new residents who are supposed to pay for the rest of the pipelines, pumps, and wells drilled all over Central Nevada? It has been predicted that another million people could move to Las Vegas with this water (drained from under other peoples' feet). 60 percent of 10 billion dollars is 6 billion dollars. That amounts to 6 thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child who moves to Las Vegas. A family of four would thus have to pay 24 thousand dollars on top of the present 6 thousand dollar hook up fee to move into a new house in Southern Nevada. That amounts to 30 thousand dollars added to the cost of a new home – just to get their water hooked up!
Right now, not very many people will pay the present hook-up fee. And it may take decades before the Southern Nevada housing market recovers, if ever. An additional 30 thousand dollars added to the cost of a new home will not help.
But there is one more thing we don't want to overlook. We can't fit another million people into the Las Vegas Valley. Much of the water isn't even going to come to Las Vegas. It is going to go for the development of Coyote Springs, Primm, Indian Springs, and likely Pahrump.
So, what do you think the people who get stuck with at least half the bill to develop other peoples' communities are going to think about this? Heads are going to roll. My advice is that if you intend to vote yes on this catastrophic boondoggle, you had better have a good job with the construction company that builds it, because your political career is OVER.
… Of course, that's probably the same thing your big financial backers are telling you – if you vote no.
Allow me to remind you that the watergrab pipeline is not our only option. In fact, we now have a number of much better options that have opened up due to technological advances. My personal favorite is trading desalinated water for a larger allotment of the Colorado River. It makes so much more sense to make than to take. It makes so much more sense to live in abundance, than to eventually live with scarcity.
Due to a number of efficiency advances in the desalination process, the power needed to desalinate water is now one tenth of what it used to be. The price of desalinating water is now 20 cents per cubic meter – approximately one third of what SNWA presently charges for water. This is workable.
If Southern Nevada were to build off-shore desalination plants, as needed to respond to Las Vegas' immediate demand, the up front costs would be far cheaper. For one thing, there would be no need for a massive pipeline infrastructure. Consequently, there wouldn't be any chance that present residents might get stuck with an enormous bill if Southern Nevada doesn't grow as anticipated.
California would happy to deal with us, if we offer enough water. If in the trade, California got 10 percent more water, or 20 percent, or 30 percent; at some point they would be more than willing to make a deal.
A vote of no today is not the end for Southern Nevada.
But a vote of yes is the end for Central Nevada.
Need I remind you that you are not only Southern Nevadans, but you are also Nevadans.
The (likely contrived) crisis at Lake Mead has nothing to do with how much water Las Vegas receives from the Colorado River. And even if Lake Mead were to go dry, as the fear-mongers want you to believe; there is no logic in turning a now natural area almost the size of Vermont into a dustbowl to fill an man-made lake.
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