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Native American Group To Run Across Nevada For Water Protest

They're Demonstrating Opposition To Proposed Southern Nevada Water Pipeline

September 28, 2018 - 2:27 pm

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - Runners from indigenous communities plan to relay 290 miles across Nevada next week (October 1-4) to demonstrate their opposition to a proposed Southern Nevada Water Authority pipeline. The pipeline was denied a permit in August, but organizers of the run say the state can still do more to ensure Nevada's water resources are sustainably managed. 

Members of Nevada's Native American communities are planning to run nearly 300-miles next week to call for more sustainable water management in the Silver State. The Nevada state engineer denied a permit in August for a controversial pipeline plan decades in the making, to pump groundwater hundreds of miles from eastern Nevada to Las Vegas. The Southern Nevada Water Authority said it will appeal the decision. Opponents of the plan include conservation groups and Native American tribes, who fear the pumping project would dry up fragile ecosystems. Beverly Harry, an organizer of the Water Protectors Sacred Water Run, said runners' first goal is to show their opposition to the pipeline.

"The second thing is to evaluate exactly what we need to do to protect waters of Nevada, and what are we going to do to address that? Because that's within the power of all of the state officials," she said.

About a dozen people from different indigenous communities are planning a relay-style run starting Monday (10/1) in Snake Valley. They'll roughly follow the path of the proposed pipeline about 290 miles and plan to finish Thursday (10/4), in Las Vegas.

Toby Stump will be among the runners. He said his Naive spirituality calls him to stand up for natural resources.

"How long do resources last? You know, how many people does it take to use up something, or how far can you go on what you have now?" he continued.

As Nevada continues to cope with drought, and state officials rethink the state's water management, the Scared Water Run organizers said they don't want to see urban water rights prioritized over the rights of rural communities.