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SNWA Drops Appeal, Ending Its Controversial Pipeline Project

The Southern Nevada Water Authority has dropped plans to build a 300-mile long pipeline to pump groundwater from rural eastern Nevada to Las Vegas.

The agency said it will not appeal a recent court ruling that denied it some water rights, ending a quest that started in 1989. 

The water authority applied for the water rights amid concerns that not enough Colorado River water would be available as the population of Southern Nevada boomed. 

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Environmentalists, Native American tribes, and ranchers were among those who protested vociferously over the years, saying that taking the water would kill springs and permanently damage desert ecosystems. 

Efforts to obtain the water rights involved state and federal courts, state agencies, and the state Legislature. 

The SNWA said in its statement it will reassess its water supply portfolio “after the current pandemic passes and normal operations are restored.”