Judge Rules against SNWA Groundwater Plan

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) has been spending some time in court recently as its plans to develop water rights in rural eastern areas of the state have been challenged and thwarted by a recent ruling.

SNWA in 1989 filed applications to draw groundwater from Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar Valleys to serve its population. The authority had reviewed its water assets and developed a plan to secure appropriate supplies. The applications in question were a part of the plan.State Engineer Tracy Taylor in 2008 approved SNWA's application but for 0.5 acre feet versus the state law allocation of 2 acre feet for a domestic well, and then Cave Valley Ranch, a developer, appealed the decision.

According to news reports, Judge Norman Robison of Nevada's 7th Judicial District in Lincoln County said Taylor "abused his discretion" and "acted arbitrarily, capriciously and oppressively" when he cleared the authority to pump more than 6 billion gallons of groundwater a year from the valleys.

SNWA is expected to bring the matter before its board of directors at a Nov. 19 meeting.

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