Water Authority Seeks State's Permission to Drill New Wells

May 12, 2004

Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) has requested state permission to tap into the already over-appropriated Indian Springs Valley basin and pipe 16,000 acre-feet per year of groundwater to Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The proposed well sites are located south of U.S. Highway 95, about six miles west of Indian Springs. Water authority officials say that this extra water would be enough to supply more than 22,000 Las Vegas households, the Review-Journal reported.

Despite an estimated perennial yield of 500 acre-feet, permits totaling 1,371 acre-feet of water per year already have been granted in the Indian Springs Valley. This latest request from SNWA would increase the drain on the basin more than 11 fold.

A key question before the state will be whether the valley can safely yield the thousands of acre-feet sought.

Vince Alberta, water authority spokesman, said the new applications were filed Thursday in part because of their proximity to other basins from which the water authority hopes to pipe groundwater, the Review-Journal reported.

"The reason is cost effectiveness, if we are successful," Alberta told the Review-Journal. "If we are building a pipeline to Three Lakes and Tickapoo, it makes sense to extend that pipeline a little more. It's just a matter of economics."

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal