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:
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 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.
The BLM participates in the water rights process in the same manner as any member of the public. This includes protesting water rights applications that may affect resources for which BLM is responsible. BLM was a protestant on the Spring, Dry Lake, Delamar, Cave, and Snake valleys water rights applications submitted by SNWA. The BLM withdrew their protests for Spring, Dry Lake, Delamar, and Cave valleys after completing Stipulated Agreements with SNWA.