Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon wants Governor Gary Herbert to get behind the Millard County Commission’s opposition of the draft Snake Valley Agreement. The project would pump water from underground Snake Valley aquifers to Las Vegas. Corroon says he’s concerned the agreement would lead to air pollution and negative health effects for residents in Millard County and Salt Lake County.
“Nevada keeps pushing Utah to sign an agreement, which would hand over some of our water to Nevada, and that is not something that we think is wise. It may be legally appropriate, but certainly in terms of the water availability it’s certainly not a good idea,” he says.
Under the draft agreement, Utah would have an additional 6,000 acre foot of water per year to develop, while Nevada would get 35,000 acre feet. Millard County Commissioner Jim Withers says the commission wants a more equitable split of the water, and says it’s too soon to move forward with an agreement.
“Well at this point because of the way the BLM and the EIS is going, we believe there doesn’t need to be any agreement. But we do realize that someday there probably is going to have to be some agreement between the two states but we don’t feel like until the BLM has their process done, that agreement needs to take place,” he says.
Monday, the Governors Office released an independent review of the Snake Valley Ground Water System and Environmental Monitoring and Management Agreement, which states about the agreement “while not perfect, provide a framework to protect the interests of water users and the citizens as a whole in each state.” The review will be presented to the Water Development Commission next month. Southern Nevada Water Authority declined to comment for this story.