LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Governor Steve Sisolak signed a proclamation Wednesday recognizing that climate change is threatening Nevada and its economy with aridification.
“The fact higher temperatures would pose challenges to Nevada’s water availability is an inevitable consequence of the physics of climate. We are the driest state in the nation and while many stakeholders have done a tremendous job at improving efficiencies, we are all going to be dealing with less water,” said Gov. Sisolak.
In 2021, all 17 Nevada counties were designated as federal drought disaster areas, and approximately 90% of the state is currently facing severe to exceptional drought.
Increasing temperatures are resulting in reduced water availability and presenting challenges for state agencies as livestock operations, agricultural production, and outdoor recreations are all realizing losses from the drought, according to Sisolak’s proclamation,
The Governor’s office noted that the water level of Lake Mead is below 1,075 ft., the lowest since it was filled, along with several other water shortage indicators.
“Less snow, drier landscapes, and changing water resources indicate a potential shift toward aridification,” meaning that, “it may snow and rain periodically, providing some relief, but our water budget is in the hole, and drought will come back,” says Senior Climate Advisor Dr. Kristen Averyt.