Clark, Lincoln, and White Pine Counties Groundwater Development Project

Nevada Water Rights Overview

All waters of Nevada belong to the public.  Nevada water law, administered and enforced by the Nevada State Engineer (NSE), follows the doctrine of prior appropriation.  The water rights process is started by filing and application with the NSE to appropriate water.  When considering whether to grant an application, the NSE evaluates the amount of unappropriated water in that basin, and if the proposed use of water would (1) conflict with existing rights, (2) prove detrimental to the public interest, and (3) adversely impact existing domestic wells.  The public are notified of an application through publication in a local newspaper.

See detailed Nevada Water Rights process, Stipulated agreements, and recentl Court Rulings at the link below:

Nevada Water Rights Process details, Stipulated Agreedments, and Court Rulings.

 EIS Overview

The BLM has prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposed action submitted by Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) in 2004 to obtain rights-of-way across land managed by the BLM. If granted, the rights-of-way would enable SNWA to develop groundwater rights authorized for development by the Nevada State Engineer.  SNWA's need for the project is to diversify its water resources to ensure it can continue to meet water supply obligations and meet projected future water demands. The project would convey up to 155,000 acre-feet per year (afy) of water, with up to 122,000 afy of groundwater developed by SNWA and the remaining capacity provided for Lincoln County. The SNWA portion includes pending water rights applications in Spring, Cave, Delamar, Dry Lake and Snake valleys. The proposed facilities associated with this Project are described below: 

Water Facilities

  • Pipelines: approximately 306 miles of buried water pipelines, between 16 and 84 inches in diameter
  • Pumping Stations: five pumping station facilities
  • Regulating Tanks: six regulating tanks, anticipated to have a capacity of between 3 and 10 million gallons each
  • Pressure Reducing Stations: three facilities
  • Water Treatment Facility/Buried Storage Reservoir: one facility site with the Water Treatment Facility anticipated to be a 150 million-gallon per day facility and the buried storage reservoir a 40-million gallon buried facility

Power Facilities

  • Power Lines: approximately 323 miles of 230 kilovolt (kV), 69 kV, and 25 kV overhead power lines
  • Electrical Substations: two primary electrical substations (230 kV to 69 kV) and five secondary substations (69 kV to 25 kV)

SNWA Agreement with Lincoln County Water District

In January 2006, SNWA and the Lincoln County Water District entered into an agreement allowing Lincoln County to obtain capacity rights in the SNWA Project. This agreement allows Lincoln County to transfer water through the SNWA pipeline.  Lincoln County is responsible for obtaining the water rights for the water that would be conveyed and any actions required to develop and convey the water to the SNWA pipeline.  While a specific agreement on a capacity amount has not yet been determined, it is anticipated that the SNWA Project may be used by Lincoln County to convey up to 36,000 afy for Lincoln County customers in Coyote Spring Valley.  Lincoln County does not currently have any specific plans or proposals for development of water to be conveyed through the SNWA Project.

Issue of Right of Way

The EIS Process:

EIS Process Flowchart

Other Links of Interest: