Proposed Southern Nevada Water Authority Development Project in Eastern Nevada

Revised: June 8, 2007

This page began as a followup page for a public meeting held in Snake Valley on March 15, 2005. Subsequent to the meeting this page was expanded to provide ongoing information regarding the project.

  • 06/01/2007 The BARCASS public draft reports have been released and are available on the BARCASS website at There is a main report and and six related publications which are a result of the study. Public comment is being taken for 60 days from release date. The report is a scientific work which seeks to extend the understanding of ground-water resources in Eastern Nevada and Western Utah. It is not a decision making document for the SNWA project nor does it resolve issues in the agreement process between Utah and Nevada other than to provide scientific data which may be helpful in those decisions.
  • 04/18/2007 An update on Utah/Nevada agreement progress was presented to the Utah Legislature Natural Resources Interim Committee by Natural Resources Executive Director Mike Styler.
  • 04/16/2007 The Nevada State Engineer released his decision on SNWA groundwater export applications in Spring Valley (the next valley west of Snake Valley in Nevada). The decision is available on the Nevada State Engineer Website.
  • 03/26/2007 USGS Director of the Nevada Science Center, Kimball Goddard will present status and information from the BARCASS study at the Utah Department of Natural Resources Auditorium, 1594 W. North Temple, SLC in a 1:00pm public meeting.

  • 03/23/2007 Two information meetings on agreement negotiations and concerns were held in Snake Valley. Lieutenant Governor Herbert, Natural Resources Executive Director Styler, and Boyd Clayton (water rights) provided information at the meetings on Utah's position and progress of negotiations. The first meeting was at the Great Basin National Park Overlook at 11:00 am. The second meeting at the West Desert High School at 3:30pm.

  • 02/13/2007 The Utah Legislature passed a resolution regarding action on groundwater in Snake Valley.

  • 01/12/2007 Revised this page to correctly reflect the extension of EIS scoping comments to October 17, 2006. An item on this page incorrectly implied the scoping period was extended beyond that date.
  • 11/08/2006 An information meeting with Snake Valley residents was held at the Garrision Firestation at 6:30pm where we discussed the water right analysis which has been conducted as part of the Utah/Nevada agreement discussions. Maps were presented which indicated the Division of Water Rights current understanding of irrigation water rights in the basin. A online map server is available to view the data.
  • 09/20/2006 The Utah Legislative Interim Committee for Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment requested the Division of Water Rights describe work relative to the Utah/Nevada Agreement process. Boyd Clayton from the Division provided a Power Point Presentation. The committee voted to endorse a resolution on the agreement process being drafted for the next legislative session. The committee asked that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to several entities including the Utah State Engineer.
  • 09/18/2006 EIS scoping comments due. The BLM has re-opened scoping on the ground-water pumping project proposal. Details are on the BLM Nevada Website. Two changes in the project are noted in the revised scoping material.
  • 09/05/2006 EIS scoping comments due date was extended to October 17,2006. See the BLM Nevada Website for details.
  • 08/15/2006 Public information meetings on the agreement process were held at West Desert High School and Garrision. A Presentation was provided which summarized information which has been presented to Nevada regarding Utah's position on hydrology and water rights.
  • 07/24/2006 A BARCASS project review meeting is scheduled for 6:00 pm at the USGS Nevada Water Science Center in Carson City, Nevada.
  • 07/07/2006 A petition was filed with the Nevada State Engineer to re-open the advertising and protest period on SNWA water right applications.
  • 07/07/2006 The Nevada State Engineer posted evidence submitted for the Spring Valley hearing in September on his website.
  • 06/21/2006 Staff from the Utah Division of Water Rights will be in Snake Valley for several weeks, reviewing existing water right uses and compiling data for negotiation of an agreement with Nevada required under public law 108-424.
  • 06/14/2006 A report on Great Basin National Park was released by the USGS.
  • 05/22-23/2006 BARCASS review meeting were held in Ely, Partoun, and Baker. The meetings provided a brief summary of BARCASS activities. The majority of the time at the meetings was spent describing the process and advantages of developing a groundwater model for the area and encouraging support from the public for an additional study project which would develop a groundwater model.
  • 04/19/2006 The Utah Legislative Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment Interim Committee discussed the Utah/Nevada agreement as part of their monthly meeting. Presentations were given, public input was accepted and the legislature asked questions and expressed their opinions on the subject. An Audio file of the meeting is available.
  • 03/08/2006 The Nevada State Engineer published his decision on issues from the pre-hearing held in January. The hearings are to begin on September 11, 2006 for SNWA applications in Spring Valley. Additional hearings will be scheduled for Snake Valley applications, and a final hearing for the remaining applications. The decision is available on the Nevada State Engineer Website.
  • 01/11/2006 SNWA met with the White Pine County Commission to explore the possibility of a water agreement with the county. White Pine County is currently struggling financially. SNWA proposed apparently unspecified environmental protections and suggested the county could under state law charge a water export fee. Some county commissioners apparently believe the time has come to work toward agreement with SNWA while at least one commissioner (Gary Perea) expressed concern SNWA must provide information to really evaluate the effects of their project before an agreement can be considered. See Review Journal Article: WATER PIPELINE PROPOSAL: White Pine open to talks
  • 01/05/2006 The Nevada State Engineer held a pre-hearing on water right applications for the SNWA groundwater export project filed about 15 years ago. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and develop the process under which hearings would be held for the water right applications. Participating in the meeting were the state engineer and his staff, representatives from SNWA, and protestants who could still be contacted and their representatives. Where possible decisions were made in the meeting through consensus but in the end there was disagreement between the parties on a majority of issues so the state engineer took comment and will issue a decision on an unspecified date which will describe the hearing process.
  • 11/01/2005 Utah Governor Jon Huntsman visited Snake Valley and met with residents. The Governor expressed support in protecting the water rights and life style of west desert residents. See Salt Lake Tribute: 11/02/05 article titled "Governor gets primed for water dispute" by Joe Baird
  • 04/08/2005 The BLM began soliciting comments for an EIS on the SNWA groundwater export project. Scoping meetings were held in Nevada and Utah over a period of almost a month. The deadline for comments was initially June 15, 2005 and was later extended to August. During the period Lincoln County Nevada requested their project also be considered as part of the EIS process. The BLM concluded the project scope changed and put the project on hold while they re-evaluate how the EIS is to be conducted.
  • 03/15/2005 The Utah State Engineer held a public meeting in Snake Valley to discuss the SNWA proposal and federal legislation which relates to it. The following information from the meeting is available:
  • 11/30/2004 The President of the United States signed into law HR4593 which provides for a $6 million study of the aquifers in White Pine County Nevada and adjacent areas called BARCASS. The bill also directs the State of Utah and the State of Nevada to enter into an agreement dividing their shared ground water basins before any export of water can occur.