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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Great Basin Land Holdings

In support of its efforts to provide the people of Southern Nevada with a safe, reliable water supply, the Southern Nevada Water Authority in 2007-08 acquired seven ranch properties comprising more than 23,000 acres of privately owned land in east-central Nevada’s Spring Valley.

Since then, the SNWA has continued operating the ranches - collectively named the Great Basin Land Holdings - helping to ensure water rights associated with the properties are maintained in good standing through beneficial use and ensuring land resources remain productive.

The seven properties acquired by the SNWA include the El Tejon, Robison, Huntsman, Harbecke, Wahoo, Phillips and Bransford ranches. As part of its ranch purchases, the SNWA has acquired:

  • More than 23,000 acres of private land
  • Nearly 34,000 acre-feet of surface water rights
  • More than 6,000 acre-feet of groundwater rights
  • More than 23,000 acre-feet of supplemental rights
  • About 56,380 AUMs (Animal Unit Months = the amount of feed required to maintain a mother cow and her calf for a month.)

The Great Basin Land Holdings provide the SNWA with opportunities to gain a better understanding of the hydrology of Spring Valley and introduce innovative water-conservation practices. The SNWA will use surface-water rights acquired with the land holdings to support the area’s environmental well-being and aquifer recharge.

The SNWA respects the environmental and cultural values of east-central Nevada’s open spaces and strives to be responsible stewards of the resources for present and future generations. The land holdings are an important management tool that will help the SNWA safeguard Spring Valley’s vegetation and wildlife as groundwater rights are developed.


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