The Nevada Legislature
2019 Legislation — The Water Bills

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May 30, 2019 — Beware of changing state water law — A controversial bill that would have drastically changed state water law apparently has been scuttled for this session of the Legislature. Gov. Steve Sisolak said no consensus on the bill could be reached by the time the session ends this week and state water regulators should put together a panel to study the matter prior to the next session, according to The Nevada Independent. Opponents of Assembly Bill 30 said it would have eroded the foundation of our current water law that protects senior water rights holders and the environment as well . . . “We are pleased at AB30’s demise and committed to working with all stakeholders on policy,” Roerink said. “But we will never compromise on the pipeline or any nefarious attempts to undermine the law. No part of the state should be viewed as a water colony or sacrificial lamb for another part of Nevada.”

May 24, 2019 — Governor's office pulls controversial water bill as talks turn to an interim working group — After weeks of tense negotiations punctuated by moments where compromise seemed possible, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office decided to pull a controversial water bill that opponents had argued would bolster the Las Vegas pipeline. The decision was made after “there [did] not appear to be anything approaching consensus,” according to an email from Sisolak’s senior policy advisor —

May 24, 2019 — Measure feared to boost LV water grab dies in Carson City — Opponents of the great Las Vegas rural “water grab” are celebrating the legislative death of Assembly Bill 30, a measure they say would have provided fertile ground for a power play by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), the agency suing for the right to take water from rural Nevada. The bill would have allowed the State Engineer to resort to a so-called 3M plan — Mitigation, Management and Monitoring — in cases where applications for water rights fail to avoid conflicts to the State Engineer’s satisfaction —

May 24, 2019 — Water grab or sound policy? Proposed water legislation creates tempest in Carson City — CARSON CITY — Proposed legislation tackling water rights has environmental activists concerned about the specter of a north-to-south pipeline. Assembly Bill 30 would allow the state engineer’s office to create monitoring, management and mitigation plans — referred to as 3M plans — to deal with conflicts that would arise when an application for water use is in conflict with senior water rights holders. Environmentalists and a Republican lawmaker spoke Thursday outside the Legislative Building, slamming the bill as a water rights grab and precursor to a long-discussed project to pump water from the relatively wetter Northern Nevada to the Las Vegas area. Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, spoke bluntly. “A vote for AB30 is a vote for the pipeline,” he said. — Las Vegas Sun [Print PDF]

May 22, 2019 — OPINION: AB 30 threatens Nevada's National Parks and public lands— Pipeline projects across the nation threaten our public lands and natural resources. Unfortunately, Nevada is not immune to the danger. While some states are battling over energy pipelines, Nevada’s problematic pipeline would instead carry groundwater extracted from the ancient aquifers surrounding Great Basin National Park. In short, a bill currently before the Nevada State Senate (Assembly Bill 30) enables a pipeline proposal that would irreparably damage Great Basin National Park’s water dependent ecosystems where pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mule deer, desert tortoises and countless other creatures call home — Reno Gazette Journal [Print PDF]

May 16, 2019 — As legislators weigh changes to water law, litigation and the pipeline loom — All of the water lawyers showed up this week. Some of the developments this week in the ongoing debate over Nevada’s water law were to be expected. Others came as a surprise. Everyone from Southern Nevada Water Authority to environmental groups were caught off guard on Tuesday when Sen. Melanie Scheible, who chairs the Senate Natural Resource Committee, called a surprise work session on Assembly Bill 30, a contentious water bill aimed at resolving conflicts between water users and often viewed as a proxy battle over the water authority’s proposed pipeline —

March 01, 2019 — At Legislature, pushback from groups over water measures — The first big water fight has broken out at the Legislature. A pair of bills that would essentially increase the power of the state engineer in various forms of water conflicts — such as between senior and junior rights holders or groundwater and surface water users — drew concerns from opponents that the bills would give too much power to the engineer, while state officials said the changes are necessary for water management in the state — Las Vegas Sun [More Coverage — — and —]

February 28, 2019 — Opponents, legislators raise questions that bills could enable Las Vegas pipeline, depart from Western water law — An Assembly committee heard two water bills Wednesday amid criticism from a varied group of water users who worry that the legislation could undermine the historic application of Western water law and enable large-scale projects, including the controversial Las Vegas pipeline. The Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is pushing the project, testified neutral on the bill —

February 26, 2019 — OPINION: Don't change water laws to benefit the fewBy Abby Johnson: A small but powerful cluster wants big changes to Nevada water law this legislative session. A hearing this week will shine a light on the dangerous proposals pitching “modernizations” and “fixes” for an old system known as prior appropriation. Sounds harmless, right? Don’t let the friendly language fool you —

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