Water, Growth Initiatives Launched

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Community activists have launched a petition drive to put questions concerning development and water on the November ballot.

One question would require that regional planning be based on sustainable water supplies within Washoe County. The other would
prevent Reno and Sparks from annexing land not adjacent to their

Supporters need to gather 18,000 signatures by June 20 to qualify for the ballot.

"The goal of our water initiative is to make sure the land-use plan and the water plan are in sync. Right now, they are completely out of whack," Bob Fulkerson, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said during a Monday rally.

In recent studies, consultants estimated potential water resources are available for only half of the growth projected for the region, including 276,000 new homes in Reno, Sparks and outlying areas through 2030.

Last week, Washoe County commissioners denied requests by backers to put the issues on the Nov. 4 ballot as advisory questions.

During that meeting, lobbyists for developers and contractors said water issues are too complex for voters to decide and should be left to public officials.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)