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Judge rejects plan for Las Vegas to draw rural water

Judge rejects plan for Las Vegas to draw rural water

CREATED Dec 11, 2013

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A Nevada judge has rejected plans for Las Vegas to draw water from rural valleys straddling the Nevada-Utah state line to slake the thirst of Sin City residents and tourists.

In an order circulated Wednesday, Seventh District Court Senior Judge Robert Estes in Ely directs a do-over by Nevada state Water Engineer Jason King.

King in March 2012 approved letting the Southern Nevada Water Authority pump millions of gallons of groundwater a year from the Spring Valley, Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar valleys in Nevada.

Environmental groups in both states appealed. They argue that pumping would ruin fragile ecosystems and turn the valleys to dust bowls.

The judge says King needs to recalculate the water available and establish standards for limiting possible environmental damage in White Pine and Lincoln counties.