At its Sept. 18 meeting, the Virgin Valley Water District board reviewed the possible implications a northern Nevada court case might have on Nevada water law and the district’s own water rights and interests. VVWD was contacted and invited to comment to the Nevada Supreme Court regarding a case in which opposing parties claim legal right to water in Walker Lake and its surroundings. The case pits “public trust” of water against the legal rights of water
share owners who were certified by the state years ago. The question of seizure of owners’ water “for the greater good” is of interest to all water share owners in the state. An adverse decision ruling against share owners could upend Nevada State water laws as now written.
After a brief discussion, the VVWD board directed staff to make a few phone calls and gather information from surrounding districts before any decision is made to submit a response. An amicus brief based on facts gathered might be filed to clarify VVWD’s own positions. VVWD would avoid comment concerning legal arguments in the Mineral County and Walker Lake Working Group vs. Walker River Irrigation District, et al. Any participation would be intended to protect the District’s water rights and interests.
In other action, the board reviewed an amended and updated the VVWD Designs Standards and Specifications (DSS) document. The point of the revision was to remove the district’s Cross Connection and Backflow Policy (CCBP) from the DSS and create a standalone policy for CCBP.
This action was a major overhaul and update of the technical specs of CCBP for the district. Essentially, the policy sets standards of pipe size and materials and many other procedures and requirements for VVWD’s day to day water delivery operations.
Staff had spent considerable time revising the policies, and met last week with board member Travis Anderson, who is also City Engineer for the City of Mesquite. Anderson was satisfied that the new documents generally cleaned up and clarified those policies and was ready for board action. With that endorsement, the board voted unanimously, 5-0 to approve the amended DSS and new CCBP documents as standard policy and procedure for water district operation.
Hydrologist Aaron Bunker reported that Well 27A water is now in process of being lab sampled by the State. With approval of the water quality, the well located at Pioneer and Oasis boulevards will soon be ready to go into service.
In his report, district manager Kevin Brown noted that Aug. 9 was VVWD’s peak water usage day, at 11,850,000 gallons in one day. He reported that VVWD has installed 200 new meters in 2018, and is on track to serve 9,000 water users by the end of the year.