COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: Is a lake at raceway a wise use of our limited water resources?

Well folks, at the BoCC meeting Monday, May 19, 2014, the commissioners made a wise choice by requiring placement of the water and sewer system on the racetrack proper instead of the fairgrounds. This was a sound decision despite reservations and opposition by many in the audience.

The final decision to allow the developer to build a lake on the development I feel was a colossal mistake for the following reasons:

First, this is a desert despite claims Pahrump Valley sits on top of the largest aquifer in the United States. This is not true but the rumor persists.

Second, on page 9 of the new master plan it says, “According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the Pahrump Valley remains in a severe drought condition and the drought forecasts indicate the drought will persist or intensify. This reality makes efficient use of our limited water resources crucial.”

Third, despite increased flow of several springs in the valley it must be recognized that the water we are seeing now fell as snow or rain years ago. The groundwater here in the valley does not recharge overnight. If it were, migration from the Nevada Security Site would have appeared in Amargosa Valley years ago.

Fourth, Williams, Arizona is taking drastic measures to alleviate their lack of water. According to newscasts they are almost completely out and have to import water. Do we want to repeat their mistakes?

Fifth, I do not claim to be a math whiz but if my calculations are correct, during the three summer months evaporation off a six-acre lake will be approximately 100,000 gallons a day given the proposed water jet activities. That is 9,000,000 gallons in 90 days. For that period, nine million gallons will supply approximately fourteen domestic wells with a full two-acre feet of water for a year. On the other hand, since the average domestic well owner is already conserving by using only one-half an acre foot per year, 9,000,000 gallons would supply fifty-six domestic wells for a year. Therefore, you can see that in three months this lake will use more water than domestic well owners will in a year. So why are the domestic well owners being asked to conserve?

Spring Mountain raceway is a fine development and is an asset to the community of Pahrump. Several members of the audience gave glowing reviews of the racetrack and its many amenities and how great a neighbor it will be when expanded.

I submit that if the developer of Spring Mountain raceway really wants to be a good neighbor and not just exploit the valley, make a fast buck and then leave, they will re-evaluate the value of building a lake here in the desert.

When they start filling this lake, will the vortex created affect all the domestic wells in the vicinity? Perhaps even the spring and wells above Mountain Falls? A development group recently applied to move the point of diversion of 156 acre feet of water from Harris Farm Road to a Utilities Inc. well at Dandelion and Malibou. Was that in preparation to fill this lake?