Stephen Dark’s article on the proposed pipeline to provide water to Las Vegas from Deep Creek Valley [“Last Stand,” May 10, City Weekly] reminded me of a similar story from another state.
Owens Valley in California was once a picturesque and productive farming area. In the early 1900s, the water-authority people in Los Angeles began buying water rights and farmland in the valley, and over a period of time, ended up taking all of the water from the valley. Springs and streams dried up, and today, Lake Owens is listed on maps as “dry.”
Litigation over this continued to as recently as 2004, and will probably continue on.
The mumbling and waffling statements by engineers and politicians do not create a sense of confidence that they know what they are doing. Spending the money required to build the pipeline will require that they defend it, regardless of the consequences to the land and people on it.
The entire history of the Bureau of Indian Affairs is one of corruption and gross mismanagement, so one cannot expect any support for American Indians from that agency.
Las Vegas would be better off building a recycling system for its wastewater, as is being done in other areas. Orange County, Calif., now has a recycling facility, and the city of Burlington, Vt., processes wastewater before discharging it into Lake Champlain, the source of its drinking water. In the 1990s, Steve Wynn, the hotel and casino owner in Las Vegas, had a system built to process “gray water” from his hotels to provide water for his golf course, so the technology is available.
Recycling is the inevitable way of the future, not unpredictable pipelines.