86°F
weather icon Clear

Board revisiting parts of management plan

Confusion prevailed over the Monday meeting where the Nye County Water District Governing Board tried to figure out what to do with the eight parts of the Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan that had been sent to them by county commissioners last week.

Water board members gave a direction to its contractor Oz Wichman to prepare a staff report on county commission actions and said they will address beneficial water use in the future.

The items that were bounced back to the WDGB included aggressive water education, adoption of a water conservation plan, construction of rapid infiltration basins (RIBs), creation of incentives to voluntarily connect to public water systems, investment in existing and future development agreements, filling out charts with data, continuation of a water level measurement program and evaluation of redistribution of production well pumping.

Several other items that fall outside of the purview of the Nye County commissioners were sent to Nevada State Engineer Jason King.

Wichman said the staff report will organize the path forward.

“So there’s a whole bunch of work to be done to give this board, the water district governing board some sense of priority, bang for the buck, expenditures, a timeline,” Wichman said about future work.

Pahrump currently has over 60,000 acre feet of paper water rights on top of 11,000 domestic wells, a combination that threatens to throw the supply of water in the valley out of balance.

The recent data shows that Pahrump’s pumpage stands at about 14,000 acre feet annually. The perennial yield is 20,000 acre feet.

“I can tell you that we’ve been trending up about an additional 1,000 feet annually since 2012,” Wichman said.

Many Pahrump residents called for beneficial water use as they claimed it would remedy the problem of overallocation of water rights in the valley.

Nevada water law is based on prior appropriation and beneficial use according to the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Beneficial use includes the underlying principle of the appropriative rights system of water allocation, known as “use it or lose it,” according to the organization’s website.

Beneficial use means that the water is used for commercial, industrial, irrigation, mining, municipal, power generation, recreation, storage or wildlife.

WDGB board members decided to weigh the pros of beneficial use at the next meeting and seek counseling from the district attorney’s office on whether they have a legal authority to demand rather than request it from King.

“As long as we get some idea of what jurisdiction we have with regards to making the actual demand, this background information would be beneficial for me,” board member Ken Searles said.

The next meeting of the WDGB is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Report: Thousands at risk of eviction by September

A report from the nonpartisan research group The Guinn Center suggests that between 272,000 and 327,000 Nevadans could face eviction by September after protections enacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic expire.

New face to join Nye County Water District Governing Board

For anyone who has been following the water issues in Nye County over the years, it is no secret that the Nye County Water District and its associated governing board are sources of contention and fierce debate among not just the public but the members of the Nye County Commission as well.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, July 11 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $23 million.

COVID-19 contact tracing attracts scammers

Contact tracing can help stop the spread of COVID-19, and a contact tracer from the health department might call if you have been exposed. But scammers are pretending to be contact tracers, and residents should be wary.

Blood donors can learn COVID-19 antibody status

Vitalant, the first national blood bank to test all blood donations for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is heading to Pahrump for a blood drive. All donors will receive a COVID-19 antibody test with each successful donation.

Red Cross seeks volunteers to help during wildfire season

As large fires, including the Poeville, Mahogany and Numbers fires, have affected hundreds of people as hot, dry, windy conditions have taken hold, the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers.

State’s initial unemployment claims rise 12.4% last week

Finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation show initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 12,484 for the week ending July 4, up 1,374 claims, or 12.4 percent, compared to last week’s total of 11,110.