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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:23 PM

Las Vegas bets on desert water pipeline as Nevada drinks itself dry

There was a time during the cold war when the Pentagon wanted to bury hundreds of nuclear missiles in the vast emptiness of Nevada, in case the United States came under attack from the Soviet Union. In a 21st-century version of an existential struggle in the desert, the city of Las Vegas wants to pump up to 300bn litres of water a year out of this landscape and transport it 300 miles south to the thirsty metropolis of casinos and golf courses.

The most advanced of three such projects as the US south-west struggles to adapt to recurring droughts, the pipeline could get the go-ahead on Thursday from the state's chief engineer.

Supporters say the $7bn (4.4bn) project is a matter of life-or-death for Las Vegas, which, some projections suggest, could run out of drinking water in 20 years. Opponents of the pipeline say draining the desert of groundwater would destroy the livelihoods of the cattle ranchers, Native American tribes, and Mormon enterprises that call this expanse home, and reduce a vast swath of the state to a dust bowl.

"It will devastate this part of the state," said Dean Baker, a lean man well into his 70s. He and his three sons, now in their 40s, have grazing rights to 160,000 hectares of land straddling the Utah-Nevada state line.

full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/22/las-vegas-desert-water-pipeline-nevada

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Reply Las Vegas bets on desert water pipeline as Nevada drinks itself dry (Original post)
alp227 Mar 2012 OP
kestrel91316 Mar 2012 #1
longship Mar 2012 #2
dogknob Mar 2012 #3
BlueIris Mar 2012 #5
Jim Lane Mar 2012 #4
CanonRay Mar 2012 #6

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:43 PM

1. My family ranched alongside the Baker family for decades.

I knew Dean Baker's father, Freddie. Dean's mother welcomed me into her home like I was one of her own grandchildren. This fight is extremely personal for me.

Vegas needs to keep its filthy paws off that aquifer and learn to live within the limits posed by its own absurdly deficient geography.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:20 AM

2. It's nothing to do with all those freaking fountains!

Just sayin'

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:22 AM

3. Uh Oh. guess whose gonna win this one...

My faith in Americans to do the right thing is gone. Just. Gone.

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Response to dogknob (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:30 AM

5. That's how I feel. nt

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 05:52 AM

4. "In the American West, water flows uphill to money."

I forget who said that but I think the context was the author's prediction that Las Vegas would never run out of water.

Of course, the consequence is that some other place might run out of water.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:47 AM

6. Don't bet the ranch against big money like Sheldon Adelson.

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