Nevada State Engineer releases Spring Valley decision

Nevada State Engineer LogoCARSON CITY, Nev.–Nevada’s State Engineer released his decision today on water right applications in Nevada’s Spring Valley basin filed by the Las Vegas Valley Water District, a member agency of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. These applications are now held in the name of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

The 19 applications requested 91,224 acre feet annually. The applications were protested by 163 individuals or entities. The protestants’ claims as summarized identified 44 various issues, all of which are addressed in the decision.

The State Engineer’s decision includes:

• A determination of the basin’s perennial yield of 80,000 acre-feet annually
• A total combined approved duty of 60,000 acre-feet per year, which includes:

o Staged water development (40,000 acre-feet per year may be pumped in the initial 10 years, after a period of baseline data collection)

o A determination that an additional 20,000 acre-feet may be pumped based on the results of 10 years of monitoring and impact analysis

• The protection of existing ground-water rights in the basin
• The ability for future ground-water growth and development in the Spring Valley basin
• A requirement for a comprehensive monitoring, management and mitigation plan.

Allen Biaggi, director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said of the decision:

“This is a very significant decision for Nevada. The State Engineer carefully considered all of the information presented in the two-week-long hearing in September 2006 as well as thousands of pages of technical information and exhibits. His decision is based on Nevada water law, sound science and the public interest.”

The State Engineer’s 56-page decision may be downloaded at:

The Nevada Division of Water Resources is an agency within the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The division conserves, protects, manages and enhances the state’s water resources for Nevada’s citizens through the appropriation and reallocation of the state’s public waters.

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