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Water pipeline plan moves ahead

Hundreds voiced their opposition, but plans to build a pipeline to bring water to Las Vegas are moving ahead at full steam.
/ Source: KSNV

Hundreds voiced their opposition, but plans to build a pipeline to bring water to Las Vegas are moving ahead at full steam.

The decision from the Southern Nevada Water Authority Board was unanimous. Thursday's vote came with a promise that the board will continue to explore other options to help parched Las Vegas.

"I believe we need to continue with this process and learn what we need to learn in order to make rational decisions and I don't think this is the time to make those decisions," said board member Duncan McCoy. "I think we need to move forward with the studies.

In all, about 300 people showed up to the meeting. The board heard nearly four hours of public comment before making its decision.

Some who oppose the pipeline drove 300 miles to Las Vegas to testify against the plans.

The $3.5 billion project would draw water from northeastern Nevada. It could, one day, supply water for $270,000 Las Vegas households.

This is not the final word from the board. Those on both sides of the issue say they'll continue to follow the project to the end.

"If this project does come to reality, we want our building trade members to be working on it," Steve Ross with Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades told those gathered.

"If I could do one thing for the people of Las Vegas, I would tell them don't build that pipeline because you can't fill it and keep it," cattle farmer Cecil Garland told the crowd.

This process is far from over. Federal permits and environmental studies still need to be done. It will be another ten years before hearings on construction can even begin.