The Utah legislature, Ruzicka, and Miller have spent wads of energy, time, and taxpayer's dollars fiddling around with censorship, "natural families", intelligent design, "illegal immigrants" and disenfranchising elements of Utah society (both homosexuals and heterosexuals) when the rug is about to be pulled out from Utah on a matter that may curtail its future dramatically and permanently.
The "Barbarians" at Utah's Gate are not my Gay and Lesbian Brothers and Sisters, nor heterosexuals who have children outside of marriage, nor Darwinian scientists, nor immigrants who clean our homes and offices. The Barbarians at the gate are marching inexorably from Las Vegas, a place that may make conservative Utahns bristle, a place where sins are committed with equal protection under the law, in public and in private.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) which provides water for Las Vegas and other Southern Nevada cities is planning to build a pipeline to White Pine County, Nevada to mine groundwater from the Snake Valley to continue the undisciplined growth of Las Vegas. Mining groundwater means withdrawal without replacement. SNWA wells will be sunk at Utah's gate. The grand Snake Valley spans both Nevada and Utah. Most of the water that the Barbarians wish to grab is in Utah. The water flows from Nevada's snow covered Snake Range underground and in streams almost to the Great Salt Lake. If the water is taken in Nevada, flow will stop to Utah and very likely a reverse flow will take place. The salt laden groundwater near Salt Lake will begin to move southwest toward Nevada and pollute hundreds of square miles of Utah's West Desert groundwater largely depreciating it for natural and human uses. See the Utah Geological Survey study of the pipeline project at http://geology.utah.gov/online/ri/ri-254.pdf which defines the enormity of the problem.
What is the driest part of the country will be even drier if not totally desiccated into a desert of bone-dry sand dunes. Ranching and farming, cities and towns, tourism, hunting and fishing, and the environment will be decimated profoundly for us and future generations.
The Owens Valley in California and recent reports of the drying up of one of the world's largest aquifers, the Ogallala, provide potent examples of groundwater mining out of gone awry. I suspect that the Barbarians are relishing the legislative side issue rancor that is in the air here. While Ruzicka and Miller distract the legislature, the Barbarians will plot and lobby quietly and surreptitiously with the legislature and the Governor's office to pull the rug.
Fortunately, Utah's Governor Huntsman recently recognized some of these side issues as frivolous and distracting from priority issues. And the Governor is well aware of the water issue as he met with many of us in the West Desert of Utah to gather input on this issue.
When the rancor has quieted and the lawmakers feel pride in their divisions, Las Vegans will be drinking Utah's water and Utah will be sunk.