ST. GEORGE, Utah — A water official in the Nevada community of Mesquite says he expressed concerns to U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about municipal springs now within the boundaries of Gold Butte National Monument.

Virgin Valley Water District Kevin Brown told The Spectrum of St. George, Utah, (http://bit.ly/2wpWuV5 ) he expressed the concern during a 10-minute meeting with Zinke on July 30.

Brown says it’s not about protecting existing water rights, but about whether national monument designation last year by President Barack Obama allows for developing municipal water rights, if necessary.

Five of Mesquite’s six springs are in the Gold Butte area northeast of Las Vegas.

Brown says he asked Zinke to remove the springs from the monument, or guarantee unfettered access to water resources for the district.

Brown says Zinke provided no indication what he’ll decide.


Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com