This week on Utah NOW, we're exploring the fate of the Snake Valley groundwater and the proposal to pipe it to Las Vegas. Recently, Utah and Nevada announced an agreement to share the remaining aquifer water. But in this arid desert landscape, some see it as a water grab, not a water share. Join us for a closer look at the future of water in the west.
Brilliant Show! McCool needs to speak out more!
Cool, Cool, Cool!
Posted by Cliff Lyon , Friday August 21st, 2009 @ 8:10 pm
just listened to your discussion on Snake aquafer. Very interesting and informative. The man gave good ideas clearly and sincerely.
Thanks for the program.
Posted by gay grant, Monday August 24th, 2009 @ 3:38 pm
I happened to tune into your show tonight on the current water debate over Las Vegas' pitch for Utah groundwater....I really appreciated the insights that Prof. McCool brought up, because I don't think there has been enough public awareness of what we are really signing up for.
The reality is, this situation has already occured in the West in relatively recent times: One only has to look at the history of the Owens Valley and Los Angeles coming up to the valley and obtaining virtually ALL ground and watershed water from the Eastern Sierra in the late 1900s. What was once a beautiful and productive valley for farming, ranching and recreation has virtually deteriorated into high desert again. The Owens Lake became a dessicated lake bed, which produced MASSIVE dust storms ravaging the Eastern Sierra. The CIty of LA is now spending millions to try -and the operative word is TRY - to protect the sensitive species and habitats involved.
The small communities of the Owens Valley are virtually locked in by Dept. of Water & Power lands, preventing ANY natural growth. Throughout the valley, one can see old fruit orchards, fields and homesteads that have returned to dust and sage and scrub.
THe CIty of LA obtained nearly all the water rights in a historic fight, and by hook or by crook accomplished all of this before anyone could foresee what could happen...and the worst did. THe reality is that now all their reclamation efforts are miniscule at best, and no one in LA is EVER going to "turn off the tap." Prof. McCool hit that nail right on the head.
The BEST thing anyone can do at this point is to really DO this story and say, "Hey - this already happened in the West....and here's how it turned out." Maybe a real-case scenario would get people's attention?
I have been trying for the past couple of years to get someone's attention on this -I'm only familiar with the story because my family lives in the Owens Valley (my parents live in Bishop) and we KNOW the history of the place - from the perspective of the ranchers and farmers and historians there. You'll never hear the story coming from Los Angeles...just as someday, if this "agreement" passes, it will be difficult to find someone who can tell you WHY we let this happen!
I would LOVE to see someone get this story to the forefront - because I think it is a REAL LIFE example of "what if?" It's not conjecture, but a real life example of what happens to a whole region, its ecology, its economy and its people when you let the water "slip through your fingers."
Thank you for your program to at least get people asking questions - I hope to see more!
Posted by Janeen Bartholomew, Monday August 24th, 2009 @ 5:01 pm
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