Two separate lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas in an attempt to halt the construction of a water pipeline that will carry water from rural Nevada to Las Vegas, according to the Associated Press. The defendants are the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Department of the Interior, which granted permission to the project.
The project is estimated to cost about $15.5 billion and will pump 27.3 billion gallons of groundwater per year from eastern Nevada and carry it more than 260 miles to the Las Vegas Valley.
One of the lawsuits was launched by the Center for Biological Diversity, which claimed that the Southern Nevada Water Authority pipeline would use practically all of the groundwater reserves in the rural area, turning it into a desert. It also states that the project puts various species at risk, including fish, frogs, toads and sage grouse.
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The second lawsuit has been filed by a coalition defending rural interests from White Pine and Lincoln counties, including environmental groups, Indian tribes, citizens and others. It alleges that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately assess the impact the pipeline project would have on the local landscape and its wildlife.
In response, the water authority commented that it would review the complaint over the next few weeks to determine its next course of action, the Associated Press reported.