Minden water legacy of ag past
Like the town itself, Minden’s water rights are a legacy of the Valley’s agricultural past.
When it was founded the town was served by a 500-foot-deep artesian well previously used by the Dangbergs as an ag well.
The town’s water supply grew as it did, with water rights being dedicated whenever a project was approved.
It hasn’t been that long since a development was required to dedicate all the water rights on the land to the town, instead of just those required to serve the project.
Water rights from Mackland and other additions to the town filled the town’s water coffers to overflowing over the years.
The town estimated at one time it had 10,000 acre feet of ground water rights, but was using only a fraction of that amount.
In Nevada, water rights must be put to beneficial use in order to preserve them. Minden has worked for years to preserve its rights, to the point where county commissioners made the entire Carson Valley the town’s service area.
The day when that action comes to fruition is visibly approaching, with the construction of a $20 million water system that includes storage, pumps and a pipeline from Minden to Indian Hills and Carson City.
Driving this expansion is more than Minden’s need to protect its water rights. Federal water standards have forced the issue by requiring municipal water systems around Western Nevada to reduce acceptable levels of arsenic and threatening to reduce other substances.
Minden Town Board members and others are correct when they say careful stewardship of their water rights has become a benefit for other parts of the Valley.