Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2014

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The Water Crisis

The view from Baker

With the water pipeline to Vegas looming, residents of this small town in White Pine County voice their concerns

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Why Baker Matters: The fields and meadows of Baker, Nev., are a playground to Josie Jefferson, 9, who spends her free time with friends from the area. Not only does Baker stand to lose water from the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposed pipeline, but also at risk is the natural landscape and environment.

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History: Baker isn’t filled with landmarks or booming industry. Instead, it is a town built first-hand by the many generations that have called it home. A lone display depicts local ranchers' dependence on the limited spring water from Great Basin National Park.

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Rural vs. Urban: The Lectrolux Cafe in Baker is adorned with both a sense of humor and a sense of place. Without the luxury of modern conveniences around every corner, people are forced to be resourceful. This often means making your own fun and depending upon one another for survival. Baker residents say such sacrifices are worth it.

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Way of Life: Dean Baker and his sons grow hay and alfalfa on their ranch in Baker. The family’s ranch is one of few employers that keep the small town running.

The Pipeline: The proposed pipeline would supply Las Vegas with water, but for Baker residents, the effects could be devastating. Stopping the Southern Nevada Water Authority from pumping from the Great Basin has become a priority for residents here. Rancher Dean Baker is one of many locals who have become active in the fight.

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