Feb 27, 2019

Nevada Denies Groundwater Permits

A top water regulator in Nevada has denied nine applications to expand the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center groundwater use

A top water regulator in Nevada has denied nine applications to expand the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center groundwater use
A top water regulator in Nevada has denied nine applications to expand the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center groundwater use.

Last month, Nevada’s top water regulator denied multiple applications to expand an industrial center’s groundwater use. According to The Nevada Independent, an attorney for the development said the decision would have no impact on the water supply, as the applications had not been factored into Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) resource plans.

“It doesn’t affect the water supply at all that is planned to be used by [TRIC] for growth,” said Robert Sader, an attorney for the developer and the site’s general improvement district.

According to The Nevada Independent, the decision comes as TRIC looks to secure more water through a 13-mile effluent pipeline that will convey treated wastewater from the region’s main sewage plant. Sader said TRIC expects to complete the engineering for the pipeline by spring and put out a bid for construction after.

The pipeline would allow companies at the park to use 4,000 acre-ft of treated wastewater for industrial use. According to The Nevada Independent, this is adding to a portfolio at TRIC that includes rights to pull water from the Truckee River and an adjacent aquifer. Sader said the pipeline is proceeding even after companies nixed a state-backed funding package.

According to The Nevada Independent, an interim legislative board had originally approved $35 million in bonds to build the pipeline if the companies paid into a Special Assessment District and accepted liens on their property.

After one company pulled out of the financing plan, the deal was restructured and then fell apart, according to The Nevada Independent. The remaining companies decided to front the cost of the pipeline, with the potential of being paid back through a Tax Increment Area that was approved by Storey County.

Between the existing rights and the water piped in from Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility, TRIC should have enough water to meet growth at the industrial park, according to Sader.

The applications for extra groundwater were filed in 2012, about two years before the state approved a tax incentive package to lure Tesla to the site. Seven years later, those applications were denied by state water officials, who determined that there was no water left to appropriate on Jan. 25.

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