Utah's groundwater

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Utah governor weighing options to Snake Valley water standoff" (Tribune, Nov. 14):

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is proposing a groundwater project that includes western Utah's Snake Valley. It is interesting that SNWA wants to sue Utah all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court because Utah may not give up our water rights.

Several high-profile groundwater projects, like Owens Valley in California and the Ogallala Aquifer, which includes portions of eight Plains states, have shown that groundwater pumping has had an impact on the environment. In these, groundwater pumping dried up springs and lakes, and water recharge is not happening in some areas.

Has there ever been a large-scale groundwater project that did not have a negative impact on the environment? I hope Utah will not approve the sale of water rights in Snake Valley to Nevada. It could be a bad deal for everyone.

Frank J. Smith