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Nevada Farmers And Conservationists Balk At 'Water Banking'

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Rural water users in Nevada are panicking over a proposal to create a market for the sale and purchase of water rights in Nevada.

A Monday legislative hearing about so-called "water banking" proposals pitted state water bureaucrats against a coalition of farmers, conservationists and rural officials who were unconvinced by arguments that the concept would encourage conservation.

Nevada State Engineer Adam Sullivan said water banking would encourage conservation by offering water rights holders an option beyond using, abandoning or selling their allocations.

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Opponents argued creating a market would lead to water being exported from rural areas and potentially financial speculation.