About a mile off the highway there is a “test” well that the SNWA paid to drill – still ready to go – ready to be hooked up to the Watergrab pipeline. Across the valley is the Great Basin National Park. More SNWA “test” wells ring both the South and the West faces of the Park. The brutal efficiency of this expansive scheme of exploitation is palpable.
The Watergrab would start in Delamar Valley, at about the same latitude as Pahranagat. It goes up through Dry Lake Valley into Cave Valley. Muleshoe Valley is bound to be effected. And Lake Valley, where Geyser Ranch is, will be drained. And then, of course, there's Spring Valley – and a number of other valleys that will be essentially drained of their own unique life on Earth.
Schell Creek Wilderness with Great Basin National Park in background
But that's not it. Water flows downhill, even underground. Which means many wilderness areas, numerous big game supporting forests, and a National Park are at risk.
The SNWA Groundwater Development Project (the Watergrab) is a huge project, with huge costs and huge consequences. And maybe most importantly, nobody really knows how much water is actually here. The Watergrab could also be a huge disappointment.