May 17, 2017 Edwin Goedhart email to Heidi Swank

Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:32 PM
Subject: Heidi Swank Regarding Yesterdays Hearing on SB 21

Thank you for presiding over the abbreviated hearing on SB21 ( which seeks to abolish the Nye County Water District ).

As mentioned in my testimony, I sponsored the original bill in 2007 which created the Nye County Water District , and helped to author the language.
At that point in time, the stated intent of the Water District was to protect Nye County’s waters from being pumped to Las Vegas, and to look at new possibilities of filing on unappropriated water in Nye County, and to explore the possibilities of wheeling water within Nye County to help augment the water supply in over appropriated and over pumped basins.
Non of these items were pursued by the created Water District. Rather, this board focused on stripping away water rights from the ma and pa kettle Well owners and became a puppet for large development interests and Yucca Mountain proponents.

The Nye County Well Owners Association was founded to combat the overreach of the Water Board and led to the lobbying of the Nye County Board of Commissioners to submit a BDR to the Legislature to abolish the Water District.

Twice, the Commissioners voted to support SB21.

The only two dissenting commissioners have conflicts of interest. Dan Schinhfoen is an ardent supporter of Yucca Mountain and needs the District to wheel water to the project. Lorinda Wichman’s husband is employed by the Water District and has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees. ( She should have recused herself from the vote ).

I , myself, have been dismayed how the entity I helped to create, has veered off course and out of control. I urge for passage of SB21 out of your comittee and onto the Assembly floor for a vote.

This bill passed UNANIMOUSLY ( 21-0 ) out of the Senate and deserves to be voted on in your committee.

I am troubled by your statements yesterday, during the bill hearing, that although the written and verbal testimony was overwhelmingly in favor,
you had received some private concerns from those who wished to remain anonymous, and that you would weigh those private concerns when arriving at your decision on how to proceed.

As a former three term State Assemblyman, I was instructed to rigorously follow the open meeting law and hearing proceedings protocols. I was instructed to weigh all written and oral testimony that was entered into the official record. At no time was I told that I could consider ” off the record ” private and confidential testimony. I was told that to do so, was to undermine the fair and transparent decision making process that is vital to a healthy Democratic process that strives to earn the respect and continued confidence of its citizens.

I am seriously considering filing an ethics complaint against you for your comments. Should you agree to publicly disavow and apologize for your comments, I will consider that justice enough. If you refuse to do so, I have no choice but to go forward with filing an ethics complaint against you.

Sincerely submitted,
Edwin Goedhart

Regarding SB 271

HEARING: Tuesday March 28, 1:30 Rm. 1214 Senate Natural Resources

Las Vegas, Room 4412E of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave.

Elko, Room 102 of the McMullen Hall, Great Basin College, 1500 College Parkway

Watch online: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Calendar/A/

SB271: Places domestic wells under the authority of the State Engineer. Domestic wells have never been under state water law. From Legislative Counsel Bureau’s Digest: “If the State Engineer confirms that the average annual replenishment to the groundwater supply may not be adequate, he my order that withdrawals, including withdrawals from domestic wells, be restricted to conform to priority rights.” (Note: Domestic wells are exempt from Nevada Water law.) State Engineer can curtail domestic wells to indoor domestic use only and watering pets and livestock. —no more gardens and trees.

SB272: From the bill “In any basin designated by the State Engineer as a critical management area pursuant to subsection 7 or any basin where withdrawals of groundwater consistently exceed the perennial
yield of the basin, the State Engineer may order that withdrawals from a domestic well that was not in existence on or before July 1, 2017, be limited to 0.5 acre-feet of water per year. The provisions
of this subsection do not authorize the State Engineer to limit withdrawals from a domestic well in existence on or before July 1, 2017, which requires repair or replacement.

This bill does not allow the State Engineer to curtail current domestic wells, but does allow him to restrict future domestic wells. FIRST THEM…THEN YOU! This is a backdoor attempt to bring domestic wells into Nevada water law.

MESSAGE: (write your own message) Vote “NO” on SB271 and SB272. Do not give the State Engineer unprecedented authority over domestic wells.

CONTACT:

Yvanna.Cancela@sen.state.nv.us
<mailto:Yvanna.Cancela@sen.state.nv.us>

Mark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.us
<mailto:Mark.Manendo@sen.state.nv.us>

Julia.Ratti@sen.state.nv.us
<mailto:Julia.Ratti@sen.state.nv.us>

James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us
<mailto:James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us>

Pete.Goicoechea@sen.state.nv.us
<mailto:Pete.Goicoechea@sen.state.nv.us>

Nevada Legislative Hotline connects with all offices:
800-995-9080, Las Vegas 702-486-2626, Reno/Carson 775-684-6800

Share your opinion

Bill Text SB271

SB272

 

From Kenny Bent: Regarding SB 271

The State Water Engineer does not now, nor has he ever had authority over domestic water use from non-artesian wells except for the amount of draught. This bill is yet another back door attempt to fool others into believing that this power has always existed and avoid sitting at the table with those who are actually affected.

The language inserted into SB 275 in 2007 giving domestic wells a priority date was inappropriate as it attempted to do so retroactively. This has not been challenged in court yet but it most assuredly will in the future.

Basin 162 is extremely over-appropriated. In 1970 The State Engineer had issued over 90,000 acre feet of water rights in a basin with a perennial yield of only 12,000 to 20.000 afa. Today that number is around 60,000. The 70’s started a transition from farming to subdividing. Much of the land was split up and sold by the water rights holders using the loophole for domestic use.

The vast majority of the senior irrigation water rights lay banked in Private Utility Corporations. One of them holds about 20,000 afa showing no beneficial use since 1983.

Every subdivision since 1973 had to be signed off by the State Engineer.

Proof of water rights was required without considering the actual wet water available. I am not aware of any intention by the State Engineer to stop this practice. It is quite obvious that this basin will be in a critical management designation soon if this continues.

Almost all of the water bills this session regarding domestic wells were crafted here in Pahrump by the Basin 162 Ground Water Management Plan Advisory Board. I was a member of that board for 21 months along with 4 majority vote utility/developer interests who control 71% of the water rights in this basin. The Division of Water Resources and staff, present at every meeting, led domestic well owners to believe that they owned junior appropriated water rights that could be curtailed completely if they didn’t agree to the management plan.

Cutting domestic users to indoor use only is completely unacceptable and a taking. This is apartment style living concocted by the water cartel, the very ones that created the problem. Now that they sold all the lots for quick profit, these Corporations are attempting to steal the water back and re-sell it through a pipe.

Domestic use was exempted from water law for obvious reasons. Under current law every appropriated water right would have to be curtailed prior to domestic wells being curtailed. While I don’t agree with that approach, I certainly don’t agree with the attempted backdoor theft being offered here. We can do better than this. Please say no to SB 271.

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Two Types of Dominant Water

Two types of dominant water-rights systems in U S.

1) Riparian model – provides that water is an incident to owning land adjacent to a water
course.

2) Appropriation model (WEST) – is essentially a “First in time, First in right” system granting water rights to the first person to put the water to beneficial use.

Vested Water Rights – once subject to a final judicial decree, are typically referred to as “Decreed”” water rights and operate outside of the scope of the general permitting system. Exception if there is a change in the point of diversion, or manner or place of use. (Surface Water).

Under NRS 533.370(5) change applications – the process provides for the opportunity to protest and if required by the state engineer, have an administrative hearing on the protest. The State Engineer determines if the changes will conflict with existing water rights or protectable interests in existing domestic wells or if the change threatens to prove detrimental to the public interest.

Beneficial Use – shall be the basis, the measure and the limit of the right to use of water. The concept is a board based that brings in many pragmatic considerations, including reasonableness and economic use, and it encompasses long-established uses like irrigation and mining, recreation, wildlife support, and municipal water supply.

The new brand of speculator has appeared, with a pump and pipeline.

Nevada Supreme Court has put restrictions as anti-speculation doctrine. Bacher v State Engineer placed some limits on speculative appropriations of water.

What is the Paradigm of the Nye County Water Governing Board District?

Part 6 A “paradigm” is a distinct concept or thought pattern.

Some Nye County Political figures believe that the paradigm of the Nye County Water Governing Board is “everything water” and others have stated the board was created to “stop Clark County take our water”.

During the public comment period a citizen asked a question. What is the Nye County Water District Board?

Wichman explained the impetus for forming a water district began after discussions with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) in 2004 which wanted to acquire water rights in Nye County; officials were told they would need to form a water district. Negotiations broke down with the SNWA anyway after the creation of the water district, she said.

This answer was about the formation of the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority (CNRWA) and not the Nye County Water Governing Board District.

During the March 31, 2014 Nye County Water Governing Board member, John Bosta tried to set the paradigm straight by reading into the record of the Nye County Water Governing Board two different water authorities within Nye County.

First is the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority, (Las Vegas Sun Friday, June 10, 2005 Rural counties band together to keep water from LV Valley); six rural counties have drafted a plan to create a centralized water authority that would control and protect the water resources in those counties against the huge needs of Southern Nevada Water Authority, rural county officials said.

The timing of the proposal is directly tied to the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plan to pump water from White Pine and Lincoln counties to Clark County through a pipeline, county commissioners said.

The proposal, drafted by select commissioners of Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lander, Nye and White Pine counties and released on Thursday June 9, 2005, calls for creating the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority, an entity that would oversee water resources in those counties, according to a copy of the proposal.

The Authority exists under Nevada’s Inter-local Cooperative Act (Chapter 277 of NRS) and the Authority has delegated authorities separate and apart from its member’s counties.

Commissioners from those counties are scheduled to vote on the matter in coming weeks.

The creation of the water authority would protect the water in those counties from the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which some commissioner’s view as grabbing up the state’s water without regard for the individuals living in those areas.

Second is Nye County Water District 2007; the Nye County Water District (NCWD) was created by Senate Bill No 222 on June 18, 2007:

Sec. 7(5). Members of the Board serve at the pleasure of the Commission and may be recalled by a simple majority vote of all of the commissioners. (Emphasis added)

Sec. 13. As soon as practicable after July 1, 2007, the Board of County Commissioners of Nye County (BoCC) shall appoint the members of the Governing Board of the Nye County Water District created pursuant to section 6 of this act to initial terms as follows:

1. Three members to terms that expire on July 1, 2008; and

2. Four members to terms that expire on July 1, 2009.

Sec. 14. This act becomes effective on July 1, 2007.

Nye County Notice on Aug. 20, 2008 for requests for application of a position on the Nye County Water District to file by 5 p.m. Sept. 17, 2008 for seven positions. Finally, on Feb. 3, 2009 the BoCC appointed the first NCWD board.

1. Three members to terms that expire on July 1, 2009; and

2. Four members to terms that expire on July 1, 2010.

The BoCC reappointed three members whose term expired July 1, 2009 to a new two term that expires on July 1, 2011

The BoCC reappointed four members whose term expired July 1, 2010 to a new two term that expires on July 1, 2012.

The BoCC reappointed three members whose term expired July 1, 2011 to a new two term that expires on July 1, 2013.

However, the BoCC did not reappoint four members whose term expired July 1, 2012. The NCWR did have a quorum to conduct business for the Fiscal Year 2012 – 2013.

The BoCC realized their mistake of not appointing the four members when it came time to appoint the other three members before July 1, 2013. This, not having a quorum for thirteen mouths is more than a simple mistake of just falling through the cracks.

Jan. 7, 2014 Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said she was disappointed and embarrassed by the agenda item no. 41 to recall of Tim McCall. “There’s only four appropriate reasons to use the word recall to recall anybody. They should be removed if they’ve done something unethical, immoral, illegal or unsafe.

I don’t understand why Commissioner Wichman was so upset at Commissioner Carbone’s use of the word “recall” in the agenda item and is criticizing Commissioner Carbone for use of the word “recall”. The word “recall” is used in Section7 (5) of the NCWD Act of 2007, and the Nevada Revised Statute 542. “Recall” is the power and method of removal of governing board member given to the Commissioners to use at their pleasure by Legislature.

Joni Eastley, Assistant County Manager during Agenda Item 23 – General Public Comment (second) commented from her office that John’s analysis of why the CNRWA was created is incorrect. The CNRWA Mission Statement: “The Central Nevada Regional Water Authority’s mission is to protect the water resources in member counties so these counties will not only have an economic future, but their valued quality of life and natural environment is maintained” is reason why the CNRWA was created.

Why is Joni Eastley, chairman of CNRWA, criticizing John for providing information about the rational for creating the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority? The obvious reason CNRWA was created to stop the Southern Nevada Water Authority “water mining” projects.

Their Cake and Eat It Too

It seems to me, that the good old boys that hold Water Rights want their cake and eat it too.

At present time the outstanding water rights in Basin 162 are somewhere around 60,000 afa which is three times the perennial yield. The Basin 162 is a cover up to correct over-allocated fraud.

The paper water rights especially those termed “over-allocated” for which no wet water in the form of annual recharge exists is fraud on the part of State Engineer’s that issued the permits. … The true purpose is to “cover” the fraud perpetrated by issuing “over-allocated water rights,” particularly, those that were issued and retained with full knowledge that no recharge volume existed to back them. (Feb. 11, 2015 Judith Holmgren to Senator Pete Goicoechea)

The Senate Amendment 467 to the proposed change (SB-81) to the Nevada Water Law (NRS 533; 534) is unconstitutional and unethical. One of the changes will give the State Water Engineer (CZAR) Jason King the power to start a fund, tax or fee, whatever you want to call it. This fund, tax or fee will be collected from every property owner to buy back Water Rights to eliminate the current level of water rights. This is the exact language of Section 4:

3. Establish a fund to retire water rights or implement conservation practices. For purposes of the fund, the State Engineer may:

(a) Assess fees on appropriators of record of groundwater rights, owners of parcels and owners of domestic wells; and

(b) Receive money from any other source.

Yes, Section 4 (3) will allow the State Engineer to assess fees on the owners of parcels and owners of domestic well to buy back the over-allocated water rights which were fraudulently issued.

The other amendment is Section 4 (4) was proposed as Water Banking at first workshop held by the State Engineer in Carson City, Nevada by Mr. Oz Wichman, contract consultant to the Nye County Water District. This concept is in violation of Nevada Anti-Speculation Doctrine which was rejected as proposed. The Water Banking suggested relinquishing 2 acre-feet of water rights to keep 1 acre-foot in perpetuity. This could ultimately allow approximately 20,000 acre-feet senior to all other water rights to live forever leaving Nye County portion of basin 162 over allocated indefinitely. So now it is amended and written as not to raise eyebrows of the uniformed residents.

4. Authorize the voluntary relinquishment to the groundwater source of a portion of a groundwater right in exchange for granting a exemption on the unrelinquished protion of the groundwater right from any provision that requires the filing and approval of extensions to avoid the cancellation or forfeiture of the groundwater right during the period that the plan is in effect. Any right that is not voluntarily relinquished is not exempt from regulation by priority.

Section 4(4) contains questionable approach to eliminating some of the over allocated water rights, however the legal and ethical implications are of grave concern and may need further judicial and legislative review before consideration.

My legal concern is what happens when the ground water management plan is lifted?

Frank J Maurizio
Past President – Private Wells Owners Co-Op

The Truth, The Whole Truth, So Help Me God

What is the truth about the Nye County Water District Governing Board April 28, 2014 actions after the presentation of the plan with no backup of Pro forma or Enterprise Fund by Russell Meads, representing Spring Mountain Raceway?

There are two caveats or stipulations that are not covered or included in the backup; one is Pro forma which provides a presentation of data, typically financial statements, where the data reflect the world on an ‘as if’ basis and the other is the Enterprise Funds which are budget and accounting units created for particular purposes, such as water and sewer or other self-sustaining operations, to separate the revenue and financial control of such operations from the County’s General Fund.

Donna Lamm commented that this is a wonderful thing for Pahrump. Upon questioning Mr. Mead noted that the water treatment plant can be located on raceway property or at another site depending upon who assumes ownership once it is completed. Mr. Mead noted that they have been in conversation with town about locating the plant on the town’s property but since it can be designed to be self-contained it could stay on raceway property. It must then be turned over to an authorized utility company for operation. These details are still in negotiations. John Bosta made a motion to approve the plan, but require that the water treatment plant be located on raceway property. The motion failed due lack of a second.

James Eason made a motion to support the Spring Mountain Raceway Project as presented, excepting the utility portion until more information is made available regarding the utility service tariff area; operating and maintenance costs estimates are obtained from the professional engineer hired by Spring Mountain Raceway; and it is determined whether Nye County will be allowed to provide service within the UICN tariff area. Jay Dixon seconded the motion. The motion was approved with a vote of 6-0 in favor.

The Director of the Water Board, Darrell Lacy put the issue about the Development Agreement back on the May 15, 2014 NCWD Agenda Item 13-C; Comments by UICN on future utility operations in the Pahrump Valley and discussion about NCWD involvement or regulation of utility operations.

Again, there was no backup for this agenda item.

UICN President Wendy Barnett and her attorney, Laura Granier, from Lionel, Sawyer and Collins, present the legal reasons for their objection to the Development Agreement. Barnett also asked about a pro forma with the financials on the utility operations and questioned Nye County’s ability to run it.

Michael Lach, This track caters to high- end people who don’t want to smell the fumes that come out of the sewer treatment facility. The reason this is being put on the fairgrounds is to get it away from their facility. The facility on the fairgrounds will help other property owners. I have property around the fairgrounds.

James Eason, “I agree with John Bosta there is no backup for this item; there is no pro forma or enterprise fund to operate this utility facility.” The Nye County Water District board voted unanimously not to have anything to do with the Nye County’s request to accept a new utility put in by the speedway.

After the Public Hearing for the Nye County Bill No. 2014-12, Russell Meads and Darrell Lacy were ready answer questions if the Board members had any. Darrell began his comment about the Water District Board voted on the Development Agreement. Chairman Dan Schinhofen asked how did the Water District Board vote? Darrell looked at Russell and then responded, they voted unanimously to approve the Development Agreement. John Bosta walked up behind the two gentlemen and the
Chairman said Mr. Bosta you have already commented and the public hearing is over. However, Mr. Bosta responded Mr. Lacy has not reported the true facts about the Water Districts vote and two caveats or stipulations in the motion. Mr. Lacy then began to tell the board about the caveats.

It is important to note that Mr. Lacy never informed the Board about May 15, 2014 unanimous vote that the Water Board should not to have anything to do with the Nye County’s request to accept a new utility put in by the speedway. Not one word. Why was this information withheld?

Is withholding information by the Director of the Water District and New Director of Planning from the Board ethical? Should Director Lacy be terminated as an at-will county employee for his unethical withholding on information from the Board when they are making an important decision about this Development Agreement?

What is your opinion? Call or write your Commissioner. Let him or her know how you feel about this issue of withhold information.

Private Drinking Water Wells

If your family gets drinking water from a private well, do you know if your water is safe to drink?

What health risks could you and your family face? Where can you go for help or advice?

The information contained in this web site will help you answer these questions.

EPA regulates public water systems; it does not have the authority to regulate private drinking water wells. Approximately 15 percent of Americans rely on their own private drinking water supplies, and these supplies are not subject to EPA standards, although some state and local governments do set rules to protect users of these wells. Unlike public drinking water systems serving many people, they do not have experts regularly checking the water’s source and its quality before it is sent to the tap. These households must take special precautions to ensure the protection and maintenance of their drinking water supplies.

Additional information may be found at https://www.epa.gov/privatewells about the following topics:

Basic Information – Learn about the types of drinking water wells and guidelines for proper construction.

Where You Live – Find information about private drinking water wells in your region or state.

Frequent Questions -Find answers questions you may have about your well water.

Human Health – Learn about health risks associated with drinking water wells.

Partnerships – Several organizations are working to keep private drinking water wells safe.

What You Can Do – Learn how to do your part in keeping your drinking water well safe.

Publications -Download or order copies of brochures, booklets, posters, reports, and multi-media publications.

Related Links – Link to web sites with additional information on private drinking water wells.

Glossary – Look up unfamiliar terms in EPA’s electronic glossary.