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Snake Valley Water

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As much as its vocal opponents disdain it, the recently negotiated draft agreement between Utah and Nevada over water rights in Snake Valley provides a reasonable, proactive approach to addressing a very complex issue.

The agreement "in no way authorizes anyone to pump water" out of the vast Snake Valley aquifer that straddles the two states. However, in the event a proposed 285-mile pipeline to Las Vegas is eventually built, the agreement, in KSL's view, adequately protects existing water rights, including Utah's share of the aquifer.

Let's be clear, KSL doesn't like the idea of a pipeline tapping into water on Utah's side of the border to help satisfy an insatiable thirst in Las Vegas. The pipeline itself is a dubious venture. But if it is built, which is likely, a solid agreement will be in place to apportion Snake Valley water between the two states and to address environmental concerns, which are significant and substantial.

Officials of both states who negotiated the agreement have been getting a well-intended earful during recent public hearings. The objections need to be heard, and some of them addressed before a final agreement is signed.

In KSL's view, though, the agreement's basic framework is solid and warrants support.

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