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Las Vegas Water Grab a 'Poster Child' for Urban vs. Rural Resource Conflict

In what has been described as a "poster child" for future water showdowns in the west, local interests in Las Vegas are attempting a water grab from ranch land 275 miles north of the city.
March 10, 2015, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"It’s Mammon versus Mormon as Las Vegas and its glittering towers of glass and greed seek to quench their growing thirst by draining billions of gallons of water from under the feet of ranchers whose cattle help feed the church’s poor," reports Edvard Pettersson.

"The surface of Las Vegas’s main source of water, Lake Mead, sits more than 100 feet below Hoover Dam’s spillways after reaching the lowest mark last summer since the dam was filled. As it seeks new sources, the city’s water supplier is waging a court fight over plans to suck as much as 27 billion gallons a year from the valley that is home to the Mormon ranch and its 1,750-head herd, as well as three other rural valleys."

The location in question is Spring Valley, near Route 50, where the Southern Nevada Water Authority would claim the 7,000-acre Cleveland Ranch owned by the Mormon church. The Spring Valley aquifer is one of four that the Southern Nevada Water Authority would connect to a 263-mile pipeline approved in 2007 and again in 2012, but currently delayed by ongoing litigation. 

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Published on Thursday, March 5, 2015 in Bloomberg News
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