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calochortus  Jan 7, 2016 • 6:00:01pm

Umm, pumping out groundwater has an effect, the least of which is the possibility of damaging the aquifer so that it can never hold much water again.
That water that is coming out into lakes and evaporating, is presumably coming out as springs that permit wildlife and plants to flourish.
Having water in those shallow lakes, even if only for part of the year helps keep the soil from blowing away.

And I’d guess that water won’t be going to any 400,000 households. It is almost certain to end up irrigating alfalfa or some such that will be exported to China.

Subsurface water is very poorly regulated and we really need to get on that. There is no reason why someone should be allowed to destroy an ecosystem for a quick profit.

calochortus  Jan 7, 2016 • 7:00:15pm

re: #1 I Stand With Planned Parenthood

I suggest reading The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

and: The ‘Water Witch’ Pat Mulroy preached conservation while backing growth in Las Vegas -Pro Publica

Then there was the attempt to take water from the Spring Valley/Snake Valley aquifer (which extends under western Utah.) They ran into the buzz saw that is the LDS Church. They are major landowners in Spring Valley-to the extent that Spring Valley is unofficially on Mountain Time rather than Pacific Time so they match Salt Lake City.

Last I knew that project isn’t going anywhere soon.

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