Mayor Reece Keener & Elko Utilities Director Ryan Limberg

The City of Elko is considering entering a lawsuit over water rights. The council will consider the proposal during the February 12 meeting beginning at 4 PM.

“On August 12, 2015, Pershing County Water Conservation District (PCWCD), which is principally composed of agricultural interests owning water rights in the Lovelock area, filed a petition in the 11th Judicial District Court (Pershing County) asking the court to require the State Engineer to make a number of decisions potentially having significant adverse impacts on water rights throughout the Humboldt River Basin.

If the court grants the relief requested by PCWCD, curtailment of ground water pumping could be required in the Elko Segment of the Humboldt River Basin. This and other matters before the court could significantly hamper the City’s ability to utilize its water rights, with consequential impacts on growth and economic development.

Both Newmont and Barrick have filed motions to intervene.

Staff believes that the City of Elko is an interested and affected party in this matter and has an interest in the outcome of the PCWCD litigation in Pershing County. By intervening in the litigation, the City of Elko would have the opportunity to protect its water rights through the legal process.”

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