Water rights a concern for subconservancy

Before trying to bring Alpine County into the Carson Water Subconservancy District, information on the concept will be presented to member county commissioners, officials said.

District general manager Ed James said he is aware that there are concerns among district residents about making the multi-county organization a bi-state agency.

"Concerns have been expressed about the controlling of water rights on the river and of the Subconservancy District becoming another Tahoe Regional Planning Agency," he told board directors Wednesday evening.

"I suggest we take this out to the counties. I can visit all commissioner meetings by April 6. We can move forward after this point."

James said the district is not a regulatory agency, but promotes activities that benefit the entire river community.

"This is unique and special, not politics as usual," he said.

Board member and Carson City Supervisor Kay Bennett said it was unfortunate that many people look negatively upon bi-state agencies, noting that there are such agencies that have worked well.

"This is a great opportunity," she said. "We should strengthen a joint powers agreement, get people to the table and get started with the process."

Carson River water rights are the responsibility of the U.S. water master and are governed by the Alpine Decree. Established by the Legislature, the Subconservancy District's member counties work together to maintain the health of the river's watershed and resources.

Churchill County was added by the 1999 Legislature to the original members Carson City, Lyon County and Douglas County.


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