Did you know that over fifty percent of Nevada is in severe drought and almost a quarter of the state is in extreme drought?
The drought in Nevada has reached the point of such severity that theUS Department of Agriculture has declared the state a disaster zone. There are nine counties that have been included on the USDA’s list of disaster zones. However, due to the fact that the duration and extremity of the drought throughout the state is so severe, emergency benefits offered by the federal government have been extended to the entire state. The State water authority has even denied water permits to farmers and ranchers due to the drought.
Clark County is no stranger to drought conditions and water conservation issues. The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) along with the Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) have implemented steps to conserve water for years. Initiatives include restricting the times and frequency in which the public can water their lawns and gardens, offering rebates on installing desert landscaping and AstroTurf, and encouraging pool reclamation. However with the duration and magnitude of this particular drought, these measures may not suffice. Some proposed solutions to meet the water needs of the Vegas valley have included a pipeline from the Great Basin.
Recently the Clark County Commission unanimously appointed a new General Manager of the SNWA/LVWD the long time deputy general manager John Entsminger. This recent declaration of a disaster zone from the USDA will be a test for the new manager and the state on its long-term water management policies.