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Legal battle rages over pipeline to thirsty Las Vegas

Legal battle rages over pipeline to thirsty Las Vegas

By Krista Hostetler. CREATED Jun 15, 2013

ELY, Nev. (AP) -- Environmentalists, ranchers, tribes and religious leaders are banding together to make their latest pitch in state court in Ely to scuttle a 263-mile pipeline plan to carry billions of gallons of water to Las Vegas from rural counties along the Nevada-Utah line.

A hearing continued Friday before White Pine County District Judge Robert Estes.

A coalition including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants him to overturn the state engineer's approval of water rights allowing the Southern Nevada Water Authority to pump up to 84,000 acre-feet of groundwater annually from four rural valleys in Lincoln and White Pine counties.

The opponents' lawyers made scientific and spiritual arguments Thursday against the pipeline that Las Vegas officials say is needed to reduce the city's dependence on the drought-prone Colorado River.

Krista Hostetler

Krista Hostetler

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Krista Hostetler is currently the Senior Web Editor for ktnv.com and KTNV Mobile.