Snake Valley aquifer deal close

Snake Valley aquifer deal close

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Water regulators in Utah and Nevada are close to a deal to split the shared Snake Valley aquifer, potentially allowing water to be piped south to Las Vegas.

Utah Department of Natural Resources Director Mike Styler says negotiations are proceeding and a draft agreement is likely by August or September.

He says any deal would protect Utah's water users, wildlife and air quality.

The aquifer stretches across both states. The Southern Nevada Water Authority wants to eventually start delivering rural groundwater to the Las Vegas Valley through a pipeline that could stretch more than 300 miles and cost up to $3.5 billion.

Environmentalists have voiced concerns the project could dry up the valley around Great Basin National Park and potentially send dust storms toward Utah's Wasatch Front.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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