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PNS Daily Newscast - August 14, 2020 

Trump rebuffs Biden's call for a national mask mandate; nurses warn of risks of in-person school.

2020Talks - August 14, 2020 

Responses to President Trump's suggestion that he opposes more Postal Service funding in part to prevent expanded mail-in voting; and Puerto Rico's second try at a primary on Sunday.

First & Only Vegas Water Pipeline Hearing to Focus on Price Tag

August 15, 2011

LAS VEGAS - There have been numerous hearings in Nevada and Utah, but today is the first and only chance for urban dwellers in Las Vegas to have their say on the proposed $4 billion Las Vegas water pipeline.

Launce Rake, board member of the Great Basin Water Network, says that when record high unemployment is factored in with the slowdown in local population growth, the plan to ship water 300 miles from rural Nevada to Las Vegas is far too expensive.

"Four billion dollars coming from the ratepayers to pay for this pipeline that we do not need, is a lot of money that should be directed toward the needs of the people here in Las Vegas itself."

Rake plans to testify today at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hearing at the Henderson Convention Center.

Pipeline backers say Las Vegas needs rural Nevada water to support future growth, although Rake is convinced that most of the pipeline benefit would go to one politically-connected developer.

Taj Ainlay, chair of the Southern Nevada Group of the Sierra Club, accuses pipeline backers of having "tunnel vision" for not considering other viable alternatives.

"Certainly there's been a proposal - I like this one myself, for desalination - to create desalination plants off the coast of California to decrease the demands for California water from Lake Mead, which could be diverted here. You don't need a pipeline at all."

Launce Rake says the pipeline also poses numerous environmental concerns.

"Based on the federal analysis itself, an area the size of Vermont is going to be affected. More than 100 miles of streams are going to dry up; there's going to be subsidence of the ground from 50 to 200 feet."

Rake says he'll recommend that the BLM take the "No Action" alternative when he testifies this afternoon.

The hearing is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. today.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV