Skip to content Skip to footer

Should Nevada Have Water Courts? NV Supreme Court Investigates

In the arid west, it is paramount for water users and water advocates to have access to the justice system to defend their interests. Before the legislative session began the Nevada Division of Water Resources released a bill that would have upended our current system for adjudicating water matters. The framework we have now gives rural communities an opportunity to have their voices heard in their own backyards in one of the state’s 11 District Courts.

Outrage is one way to describe GBWN’s reaction to the bill, which would have taken the local aspect out of the adjudication process. Fortunately, we weren’t alone. After hearing plenty of rumblings and grumblings, the State Engineer informed legislative leaders that he will not pursue the bill.

What’s the tradeoff? The Division of Water Resources worked with Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice James Hardesty to create a commission to investigate the adjudication of water matters in Nevada District Courts. In other words, we are doing a study on potential changes to our current system. Do judges need more water education? Should we have specific water courts? These are just some of the questions we will be asking ourselves.

Justice Hardesty selected GBWN to serve on a committee along with big metro purveyors, rural county officials, quasi-governmental groups like the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority, industry reps, attorneys and others that will be overseeing the investigation.

There will be plenty more on this. But our bottom line: We believe that small communities deserve judicial representation on water matters.

Great Basin Water Network © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Design by Most Media

Subscribe For Updates!