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Nevada Groundwater Order Could Help Save Endangered Fish

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists say Nevada’s unprecedented interpretation of state water laws to restrict groundwater pumping in the desert northeast of Las Vegas could help prevent the extinction of a tiny endangered fish.

The state engineer's order is expected to curtail development across 1,500 square miles of land that share the same groundwater in the driest state in the nation.

The Center for Biological Diversity has been fighting 15 years to protect the the Moapa dace. It is a finger-length fish dependent on springs fed by the underground aquifer.

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The group says the new order recognizes the state's obligation to comply with the Endangered Species Act.