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   About GBWN — The Great Basin Water Network (GBWN) protects the water resources of the Great Basin for current and future residents. GBWN is an all volunteer 501c3 Non-Government Organization (NGO). GBWN supports water conservation programs for urban and rural communities that address economic incentives for water smart-practices as opposed to building multi-million dollar water extraction projects. Read the latest GBWN Newsletter [11/2014] Water Gab Newsletter

   Litigation — Southern Nevada Water Authority's plans to convey millions of gallons of groundwater from central and eastern Nevada to Las Vegas have generated a deluge of legal challenges at the state and federal level. Pending before the Nevada Supreme Court is the appeal of Judge Estes' district court decision. At the federal level, GBWN's appeal of BLM's Record of Decision and Final EIS awaits action in federal district court in Las Vegas. Participating parties challenging the water decisions in court include Nevada and Utah local governments, Tribes, businesses, non-profit organizations (like GBWN) and a long list of citizens who have joined the fight: Read the legal Arguments.

   New Information & Documents [August / November 2014]

  • TTROUBLED WATERS: Misleading industry PR and the case for public water — Corporate Accountability International
  • Top 10 Myths about Desalination — By Genevieve D. Minter and Mark Bird
  • USGS Report — Hydrology Groundwater Movement, Snake Valley
  • Nevada State Engineer — Report to the Public Lands Committee on Listening Sessions
  • Pacific Institute — Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines: Towards a Common Approach to Report Water Issues

   GBWN Events

   In The News — Below are press stories about the ongoing drought in the west, as well as information about the Southern Nevada Water Authority’ (SNWA) “Water Grab” proposed in eastern Nevada and northwestern Utah, along with other development projects that threaten water resources of the Great Basin. [Note: Stories open in new browser window]

December 12, 2014 — Colorado River states worry about continuing drought LAS VEGAS — Amid worries that crucial multi-state water agreements are beginning to erode due to concerns about supply and ongoing drought, representatives of seven Colorado River basin states are emphasizing cooperation during annual meetings this week in Las Vegas — Standard.net

December 12, 2014 — Report: Colorado River experiment brings life to delta —Dry swaths of Mexico's Colorado River delta revived by an experimental gush of water last spring already show signs of ecological improvements, according to a report released this week — Azcentral.com

December 11, 2014 — Colorado River allocations banked in Lake Mead — A major agreement on how to combat the shrinking water level at Lake Mead was reached Thursday. The pact involved states like Nevada that draw water from the Colorado River — 8NewsSnow.com

December 09, 2014 — EDITORIAL: Pumping Station a Critical Need; Rate Hike a Must — The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants another rate increase, [too] — on top of those imposed the past two years — to build a $650 million pumping station at Lake Mead that would allow the valley to continue drawing water from the shrinking reservoir — RJ.com

December 09, 2014 — After seven years of digging, Vegas reaches its last straw — Sometime today, the authority’s massive underground tunneling machine should break through a reinforced concrete wall at the bottom of Lake Mead, completing its three-mile journey to connect with a 100-foot-tall drain pipe that has been waiting at the bottom of the reservoir since 2012 — RJ.com [More Coverage & Photos]

December 09, 2014 — Colorado's first water plan 'a good first step' — The final draft of Colorado's first formal water plan will be delivered to Gov. John Hickenlooper this week, and it's being characterized by water experts as a "good first step" toward building state-wide consensus on what can and must be done to meet the needs of a growing population — Bizjournals

December 2014 — On-line game is the first step in the big process of engaging the public in planning for the future of Utah. — Envision Utah engages people to create and sustain communities that are beautiful, prosperous, healthy and neighborly for current and future residents — Envision Utah

December 09, 2014 — With future uncertain, Colorado shields its water DENVER — With demand increasing across the West, Colorado is drawing up a strategy to keep some of the trillions of gallons of water that gushes out of the Rocky Mountains every spring — most of which flows downstream to drought-stricken California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico — AP [More Coverage — SaveTheColorado.org]

December 09, 2014 — Cities look to farms for help in Colorado River drought — As the Colorado River grinds into what could be its 15th year of drought, the West’s biggest water agencies are finalizing a major new agreement to boost water levels in Lake Mead, on the Arizona-Nevada border. Water bosses will likely announce the deal at the annual Colorado River Water Users Association conference, which begins this Wednesday in Las Vegas —hcn.org

December 09, 2014 — Is Las Vegas betting the Colorado River will go dry? — Las Vegas is a city that plays the odds, and if you want to know which odds to play, you need to follow the smart money. Unfortunately, that money seems to be moving toward building yet more dams that will drain yet more water out of an already oversubscribed Colorado River —hcn.org

December 06, 2014 — Las Angeles, City of Water — LOS ANGELES is the nation’s water archvillain . . . Recently, however, Los Angeles has reduced its reliance on outside sources of water. It has become, of all things, a leader in sustainable water management, a pioneer in big-city use of cost-effective, environmentally beneficial water conservation, collection and reuse technologies. Some combination of these techniques is the most plausible path to survival for all the cities of the water-depleted West — NyTimes.com

December 05, 2014 — States expected to reduce water taken from Lake Mead — Arizona and various water agencies in Nevada and California are expected to approve an agreement this month that would reduce the amount of water taken from Lake Mead. The measure is considered a significant step toward protecting one of the main reservoirs of Colorado River water. The lake is at historically low levels because of a 14-year drought — Azcentral.com [Graphic — Lake Mead Water Level: 1940-Current]

December 05, 2014 — California drought the worst in 1,200 years, new study says — The last three years of drought were the most severe that California has experienced in at least 1,200 years, according to a new scientific study published Thursday. The study provides the state with breathtaking new historical context for its low reservoirs and sinking water tables, even as California celebrated its first good soaking of the season — MercuryNews.com [Related Story]

December 04, 2014 — Utilities Worry Water's Becoming UnaffordableWater bills have increased faster than any other and show no signs of slowing down, hitting low-income Americans the hardest. . . . Between 2001 and 2011, water bills grew the fastest as a percentage of income for the poorest customers. Water expenses grew faster than all other utility bills for low-income Americans except electricity — Governing.com

November 27, 2014 — Privateers Make a Water Grab — [This] report identifies worldwide deceptive practices used by the water privatization industry . . . The report describes how water privatization imposes a second cost on the public – it degrades democracy. The author provides many examples of ways in which the "private water industry's political interference threatens the democratic governance and sustainable management of public water systems" — Truth-Out.org

November 24, 2014 — New pump at Lake Mead could mean water rate increase — LAS VEGAS -- Water users could soon be paying more for their water usage . . The Southern Nevada Water Authority says the project could be the last resort if Lake Mead water levels continue to drop. That increase could start next year. This is in addition to the money currently being reflected on bills for a current project underway at Lake Mead — 8NewsNow.com

November 21, 2014 — The supply doesn't exist for California water storage expansion — California's approval of a $7.5 billion water bond has bolstered prospects for expanding reservoirs and groundwater storage, but the drought-prone state can effectively use no more than a 15 percent increase in surface water storage capacity because of lack of water to fill it, according to a new analysis released Nov. 20. — Phys.org

Photo: Jud Burkett / The Spectrum) November 19, 2014 — In Our View: Water hogs According to a recently released report from the United States Geological Survey, Utahns are water hogs. The USGS report, one of a series of reports on water use released by the government agency every five years, details information recorded in their 2010 survey — The Spectrum.com

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images November 17, 2014 — California's drought has reached Biblical-plague proportions. It's time for a drastic measure — Last January, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency following projections of severe drought. State bureaucrats and local officials jumped into action and mandated any number of water conservation tactics. While some have been relatively successful, most will do nothing. In fact, it appears that despite the drought, water use may have actually increased in the past year — TheWeek.com

November 16, 2014 Depleting the water — Lesley Stahl reports on disturbing new evidence that our planet's groundwater is being pumped out much faster than it can be replenished [16 min Video, CBS News]

LA Times November 14, 2014 — New dust-busting method ends L.A.'s longtime feud with Owens Valley Owens Lake resolution — Los Angeles ended a bitter dispute with Owens Valley on Friday with the announcement of a truce in a decades-long dispute over water and dust. Under an agreement between the city and Owens Valley air quality regulators, Los Angeles will use a new, organic method of suppressing airborne dust from the dry bed of Owens Lake, which L.A. drained to slake its thirst in the last century — LA Times.com [More CoverageChanceoffrain.com

Governor Jerry Brown - AP November 14, 2014 — Governors team up to tackle drought crisis — California, Nevada governors join forces to address drought's effect on agriculture SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The governors of California and Nevada met Thursday at a forum aimed at coming up with the best ways to cope with the unprecedented drought affecting the western U.S., now in its third year.

"I think the drought will test our imagination and our science, our technology and our political capacity to collaborate," California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, said in opening remarks — AP

John Entsminger, senior deputy general manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) November 11, 2014 — Entsminger sees valley’s water glass as half full — Global warming threatens to turn the parched West to toast. Lake Mead’s infamous bathtub ring has been there so long it no longer shocks the sensibilities. And Southern Nevada’s endless thirst has officials considering a controversial, multibillion-dollar pipeline from rural counties that has critics conjuring references to “Chinatown.” But, all things considered, Las Vegas Valley Water District General Manager John Entsminger is feeling pretty good these days. No, really — RJ.com

Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times November 10, 2014 — MECCA, Calif. — Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature — The area around this town of date palms attracts two kinds of migrants ÿhundreds of humans who work the land, and millions of birds that stop to rest and gorge at the nearby Salton Sea. The sea is a 110-year-old, increasingly briny, shallow lake that covers 350 square miles but is dwindling fast — NyTimes.com

November 10, 2014 — California’s sweeping new groundwater regulations Will the law finally mean better aquifer management for the drought-stricken state? With dust blowing from the Central Valley’s fallow fields and fires ravaging the Sierra Nevada, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills in September that effectively end unrestricted groundwater pumping in the state. “This is a big deal,” said Brown at the signing ceremony. “It has been known for decades that underground water has to be managed in some way.” Now, there’s a statewide framework for aquifer management — hcn.org

November 10, 2014 — USGS launches a billion-dollar initiative to map the West in 3D LIDAR is about to become more widespread -- helping agriculture, pilots and homeowners. LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, uses lasers to create intricate three-dimensional maps in places where bad weather or thick vegetation hampered traditional aerial mapping — hcn.org

November 07, 2014 — Survey says Utahns’ average water use is highest in United States — SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns use more water per person than anyone else in the country, and a study by the United States Geological Survey says the average Utahn uses 248 gallons of water a day — Fox13now.com

November 05, 2014 — Peak Water: United States Water Use Drops to Lowest Level in 40 Years — The most important trend in the use of water is the slowly unfolding story of peak water in the United States and elsewhere. Data on US water use are compiled every five years by the US Geological Survey, covering every state and every sector of the economy. The latest data – for 2010 – have just been released, and they show the continuation and acceleration of a stunning trend: US water withdrawals, for all purposes, are declining, not growing — HuffingtonPost.com

November 01, 2014 — TEAM TACKLES DROUGHT — RJ.com

Dust on snow at Independence Pass, between Aspen and Leadville, in mid-June 2014. Photo/Allen Best November 01, 2014 — Reslicing a smallish pie: Changes for the shrinking Colorado River — What gives on the Colorado River? A recent study in Colorado, which provides half of the water in the river, found no trend in precipitation. Yet reservoirs on the river and its tributaries, especially the giant impoundments of Mead and Powell, have been declining such that water agencies from Denver to Los Angeles have formulated emergency measures — mountaintownnews.net

All 2014 News Stories


   GBWN Video Files Baker Family Ranches Video The Consequences...Transporting Snake Valley Water to Satisfy a Thirsty Las Vegas: An Eastern Nevada Rancher's Story is a virtual water tour of Snake Valley. Baker Family Ranches has produced the DVD to help people understand that there is not enough water in Snake Valley to justify the Southern


   GBWN Events

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