West Coast
Nevada Appeal

NV - Land-based salmon farm in rural Nevada on track despite drought

Despite this year’s severe drought, a land-based salmon farm planned for rural Northern Nevada that will use millions of gallons of recycled groundwater is still in the works.

Despite this year’s severe drought, a land-based salmon farm planned for rural Northern Nevada that will use millions of gallons of recycled groundwater is still in the works.

The project will rely on a deep water table that should not be impacted by drought, a spokesman for West Coast Salmon AS — the Norwegian-based company planning the farm near the Humboldt/Pershing County line — said in a recent interview.

Three pivots that still irrigate alfalfa will disappear when fish farm construction begins, and groundwater rights will change from irrigation to commercial. Construction could begin late this year or early next year, with Phase 1 of the fish farm in production possibly by the end of 2022.

The company is watching irrigation impacts on the aquifer and will monitor the farm’s impacts on groundwater and the nearby Humboldt River, which local farmers depend on for irrigation.

“Our water rights are underground, so the drought doesn’t really impact that,” Project Manager Ralph Runge told The Humboldt Sun in June. “But we’re very sensitive to the fact that it’s one big water balance. The state engineer’s office, and the lawsuit, have been focused on what they call river capture. Are people that are pumping from the aquifer drawing from the river?

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