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LMNRA Announces the Release of an Environmental Assessment for Constructing a Third Water Supply Intake at Saddle Island 63-06

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Date: November 30, 2006
Contact: Roxanne Dey, 702.293.8947

William K. Dickinson, Superintendent, Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA), has announced the release of the environmental assessment to evaluate a proposal to construct a third water supply intake in Lake Mead.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is proposing to construct a third water supply intake, Intake No. 3, in Lake Mead.Project components include an intake pumping station on Saddle Island, intake tunnel, forebay, conveyance pipeline to the existing Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility, access roads, staging areas, and other associated project elements.

SNWA is the regional water supply entity for the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The project is needed to protect the community’s existing water supply system capacity against the potential loss of Intake No. 1’s pumping capability should lake levels fall below 1,050 feet above mean sea level. Water levels in Lake Mead have fallen during the recent drought on the Colorado River, and long-term projections for river flows point to a continued decline in lake water levels.

The environmental assessment examines in detail two alternatives: no-action and proposed project. The proposed project is described above, while the no-action alternative represents a continuation of existing conditions- no new intake would be constructed, and the two existing water supply intakes in Lake Mead would continue to operate under declining long-term lake level conditions. The EA analyzes the alternatives and their impacts on the human and natural environment, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 1508.9) and NPS Director’s Order-12.

Copies of this document are available on the Lake Mead NRA website at http://www.nps.gov/lame/parkmgmt/docs.htm and on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/. The document is also available for public review at area libraries, and copies of the document may be requested by calling 702.862.3443. Please forward comments regarding this environmental assessment by January 9, 2007. All review comments must be received by that date and should be addressed to: Superintendent, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Attention: Compliance Office, 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV 89005. You may also submit comments electronically on the PEPC website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov.

Did You Know?

Desolate picture of the Mojave Desert

In October 1857, a caravan of 28 camels crossed the Colorado River below present Bullhead City, AZ. Lieutenant Edward F. Beale was testing camels for desert travel for the War Department.