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

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

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.

Private Well Owners In Jeopardy

Call for Beneficial Use – Part One

Let’s start with a history of Nevada’s Water Laws. The first water law was passed in 1866 and has been amended many times since then. The Office of the State Engineer was created in 1903 to protect existing water rights and bring about a better method of utilizing the state’s water resources.

The purpose of the 1903 act was amended in 1905 to set out a method for appropriation of water not already being put to a beneficial use. The General Water Law Act of 1913 gave the office jurisdiction over all wells tapping into artesian water or water in definable underground
aquifers. The 1939 Nevada Underground Water Act granted the State Engineer total jurisdiction over all groundwater in the state. Chapter 178 was approved March 25, 1939. The 1939 act repealed the 1915 act and the amendatory acts of 1935 and 1937. Only a few of the salient provisions of the present law are presented herewith:

(A) The law provides that all underground water within the boundaries of the State belong to the public and is subject to appropriations for beneficial use under the laws of the State.

(B) Upon receipt by the State Engineer of a petition requesting him to administer the provisions relating to designating specific areas in a valley, he may so designate.

(C) In such designated areas the State Engineer may appoint a well supervisor.

(D) The Board of County Commissioners shall levy a special tax upon all taxable property within the designated area to pay the salary of the well supervisor. (Note: The levy must be charged against each water user who has a permit to appropriate water or a perfected water right, and the charge against each water user must be based upon the
proportion which his or her water right bears to the aggregate water rights in the designated area.)

(E) In such designated areas anyone desiring to drill a well, for other than domestic purposes, shall first obtain a permit to appropriate water.

(F) The provision relating to the drilling of a well didn’t apply to a domestic well where the draught does not exceed a daily maximum of 1800 gallons. (Note: Originally, the daily maximum allowed for a domestic well was 2 gallons per minute or 2,880 gallons per day.)

The above-mentioned acts provide that all water within the boundaries of the state, whether above or beneath the surface of the ground, belongs to the public, as referenced in NRS 533.025 and is subject to appropriation for beneficial use under the laws of the state [NRS 533.030 and NRS 534.020]

Courts began developing common-law doctrines to accommodate landowners who asserted competing claims over a body of water. These doctrines govern three areas: riparian water rights, surface water rights, and underground water rights.

Riparian – water rights generally emerge from a person’s ownership of the land bordering the banks of a watercourse or from a person’s actual use of a watercourse. There are no riparian water rights in the Pahrump Basin 162.

Today, the Pahrump Basin 162 includes the following water permits:

Surface – water rights include 2,485 acre-feet-annual (afa) of Vested Spring water rights and 17,540.26 afa of Certified Spring water rights. The Total Annual Duty of Spring water rights are 20,025 afa.

Underground – water rights include 15,096.84 afa of Certificated (CER) permits; and 47,459.79 afa of Permitted (PER) permits. The Total Annual Duty of Underground water rights are 64,554.63 afa.

The Total Annual Duty of all Basin 162 water rights is 82,579.89 afa. All water requires a permit except for domestic wells. (534.180)

The State Engineer presented the citizens of Pahrump a power point presentation October 13, 2005 Water Law; An Overview and Related Issues:

Domestic Water Wells;

  • A water right application and permit are not in order to drill a domestic well;
  • Domestic purposes as defined under our statutes extends to culinary and household purposes, in a single family dwelling, the watering of a family garden, lawn, and watering animals (534.013);
  • The maximum daily draught is limited to 1,800 gallons per day (2.02 acre-feet per year)

Maintaining a Water Permit:

  • A water right can be perfected only if:
    • The completion of the diversion work is made; and
    • The water is placed to the beneficial use for which the permit was
      granted e.g. Municipal, Irrigation, Commercial etc.
  • By law (533.380) the State Engineer is limited on the amount of time he can give the applicant to file the proof:
    • Maximum time limitation wherein work must be completed within 5 years.
      • The beneficial use completed within 10 years after the date of approval of the permit.
  • Failure to submit these proofs by the time specified results in the cancellation of the water right.

Certificate of Appropriation

  • Once the proofs have all been filed and the other terms of the permit complied with, the State Engineer prepares a Certificate of Appropriation describing the use to be made of the water as shown on the Proof of Beneficial Use. The State Engineer records the Certificate in his office, with a copy going to the permit holder. (533.425)

Benefical Use

  • Beneficial Use shall be the basis, the measure and the limit of the right to the use of water. (533.035)

The domestic well owners should circulate a petition to have the State Engineer to call for beneficial use for all non-certificated permits (PER).

  • The Permitted must submit pumpage records for whatever has been pumped.
  • The permit will be certificated for whatever has been pumped.
  • The permit will be certificated for the amount pumped even if it is not full duty.
  • The difference between the permit and certificated duty will be returned to the groundwater source.

The Call for Beneficial Use will protect you domestic use of groundwater. Information was taken from NRS, History Of Water Law In Nevada (leg.state.nv.us).

Thank you for the donation, Dennis Hof

Seated left to right, Private Well Owners Cooperative Board members Wade Hinden, Charlotte LeVar and John Bosta accept a $500.00 check donated by Dennis Hof.
Seated left to right, Private Well Owners Cooperative Board members Wade Hinden, Charlotte LeVar and John Bosta accept a $500.00 check, a donation by Dennis Hof.

Today at the Private Well Owners Cooperative meeting (October 13, 2016), concerned citizen, private well owner, and Libertarian State Assembly candidate Dennis Hof, received overwhelming applause from our entire membership for his gracious donation of $500.00.

Mr. Hof’s contribution was offered in response to last month’s announcement of a new website under development for Private Well Owners Cooperative by Let’s Talk Graphics, a Pahrump-based website development company.

Both Private Well Owners Cooperative and Shane Coursen of Let’s Talk Graphics would like to thank Mr. Hof for the donation. It has helped both the Cooperative and a local Pahrump business to grow and succeed.