By Max Wilbert / Deep Green Resistance Great Basin
Ely, Nev. – A camping tour of the region that will be affected by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) groundwater development project is taking place over memorial day weekend – and you’re invited.
The trip, which will take place from May 24th to 26th, will begin at the north end of the water grab region, at the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation in Ibapah, Utah – a community which has been organizing to stop the groundwater project for years.
Trip organizer Max Wilbert says the goal is to get to know the land threatened by water extraction.
“These regions of eastern Nevada are some of the most beautiful, remote landscapes in the West,” Wilbert said. “Once you see that beauty, you want to fight to protect it.
Members of the Goshute and Shoshone tribes are holding the event in collaboration with community members from across the southwest (Tuscon, Moab, and Salt Lake City). Their goal is to raise awareness of the unique natural and cultural heritage of the region.
“My people have lived here sustainably for over 10,000 years,” said Rick Spilsbury, a Shoshone man and area-resident who is guiding the tour. “We want that for all of the Earth for another 10,000 years.”
SNWA is the organization that delivers water to Las Vegas and the surrounding area, and is planning a $15 billion project to extract groundwater out of mountain valleys in eastern Nevada.
Proponents of the project say that the water and pipeline is required to meet rising water demand in Las Vegas, especially as water levels in the Colorado River and Lake Mead continue to decline. Critics say the pipeline will decimate ecosystems and small farming, ranching, and indigenous communities, and that Las Vegas residents will be stuck with a massive bill.