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Former Titus Aide Hired To Fight Las Vegas Water Pipeline Plan

Photo by Famartin via Wikimedia Commons

The Great Basin Water Network has hired a former aide to Rep. Dina Titus to help lead its fight against Las Vegas’ efforts to tap rural Nevada groundwater.

The Reno-based environmental group recently named Kyle Roerink as its executive director, and he becomes the organization’s first paid staffer.

Roerink said he plans to spend 2019 making the public and lawmakers aware of the dollar and environmental costs of the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s planned pipeline from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas.

“We do not want a $15.5 billion, 300-mile pipeline that would start near the border of Elko County and go to Las Vegas,” Roerink told State of Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management “did a study in 2011 that said the water grab would harm 305 springs, 112 miles of streams, 8,000 acres of wetlands, and 191,000 acres of wildlife habitat.”

He said his organization would continue to press its fight in court, before regulators, and in the Legislature.

Instead of a pipeline, the water network supports Nevada eventually funding desalination plants in California or Mexico in exchange for additional Colorado River water for Las Vegas.

Roerink recently spearheaded the successful campaign for Question 6, a statewide measure to promote renewable energy. Before that, he was a spokesman for Congresswoman Titus, a Democrat who represents Las Vegas.

Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network

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With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.