In America's past, water seemed abundant and nature forgiving. But our water policies did not balance the diversity of human and natural water needs. Intensive economic uses became the dominant forces in managing water. Other concerns - and ecosystems - were ignored.
Caught in the blueprint is Walker Lake. It has much in common with its fellow ancient Lake Lahontan survivor, Pyramid Lake: a high evaporation rate, meager rainfall regime, slightly saline waters and water diversions from its river source.
The task of the Walker Lake Working Group is to change the blueprint - to build public support for developing a long-term solution to protect the lake without jeopardizing the upstream community. The working group seeks to establish a minimum lake level and flows to maintain a stocked fishery. Saving the lake does not require stopping all Walker River water diversions. Only human intervention, primarily through the acquisition of water rights, can save the lake's ecosystem from extinction.
Our lake preservation efforts include:
Educating the public on Walker Lake's ecologic, historic, aesthetic, cultural and economic values through public relations and media outreach.
Increasing interest in tourism to Mineral County by sponsoring events like Walker Lake Education Day and providing public information about area recreation.
Supporting efforts to acquire a secure source of water for Walker Lake that would result in a long-term solution to sustain the fishery.
Supporting the Walker Basin Restoration Program through National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that is chartered to purchase water rights for Walker Lake from willing sellers upstream.
Investigating how Walker River Basin water is used and looking for ways that water may be saved for Walker Lake.
Seeking to test the Public Trust Doctrine in Nevada to argue that water resources should be preserved for public uses including fisheries, recreation, wildlife, navigation and commerce. To join us in this work and become a member of the Walker Lake Working Group, contact us onlineor write to Walker Lake Working Group, P.O. Box 867, Hawthorne, NV 89415.
Walker Lake Working group