LAS VEGAS -- When you turn on the kitchen faucet, most simply see a never-ending stream of clear-running water. But what we don't see running down that drain could pose a serious threat to future generations.
That's according to water experts who've gathered in Las Vegas to address a serious deficit in the supply and increase in the demand for water coming from the Colorado River.
While China is often blamed for much of the world's pollution problems, when it comes to wet footprints, the United States uses three times more water than China on a per capita basis. Water experts gathered in Las Vegas this week say that has to change.
So many factors affect the nation's water supply, like population growth, rising energy demands, aging infrastructure and climate change.
Experts say all of these pressures continue to put the squeeze on the Colorado River Basin's water supply, which still makes up 90-percent of the water used in Southern Nevada.
"We need to bring a national commitment and national leadership to address the imbalance we have in this country between our water demand and our water supply," said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle.
Castle hopes to create a new national water strategy. It would incorporate the best practices of the seven lower Colorado Basin states that have had to work together to endure a drought that has gripped the southwest for 10 years now.
"We're always looking for ways to better manage water and water sustainability," said Bill Rinne with the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
The new strategy includes a two-year study of water supply and demand among the seven basin states. It's already underway and funded in part by the federal government.
The information gleaned in that study will help the southwest determine how to proceed with long-term water planning and funding of the most efficient recycling, and conservation programs:
During her visit, Assistant Secretary Castle held up Southern Nevada's water conservation programs as an excellent example of innovative ways to raise community awareness and save water.
SNWA's turf conversion program, also known as Cash for Grass, saves the valley an estimated seven billion gallons of water annually.
Monday, September 1 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:06:07 GMT
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