LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Leaders from around the Las Vegas Valley gathered Thursday for a special presentation about the state of water in Nevada.
The presentation aimed to enlighten the community on the water situation in Nevada addressed current water issues, and describe how water impacts the local economy and growth. The panel answered questions from local residents and business owners.
“You see Lake Mead, its shoreline dwindling, and you automatically assume that Las Vegas is being reckless with the water that just couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Tina Quigley of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, one of the panelists.
Dave Johnson from the Las Vegas Valley Water District said Las Vegas is ahead of the game on conserving water.
“Our community has done a fantastic job with respect to doing the hard things that are necessary for conservation purposes,” Johnson said. “Programs like voluntary removal of turf and now going into other programs for the reduction of evaporative cooling.”
Kristopher Sanchez of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development said water resources should not deter businesses from choosing to come to Nevada.
“We’ve been facing this issue head-on. We haven’t been waiting,” Sanchez said. “We’ve been good stewards to our environment and our water resources.”
The Biden administration’s recent proposals for the Colorado River provided three options. One option would favor California and require big cuts for Arizona and Nevada. Another option would be to cut the same percentage of water use from all three states. The third would be to take no action and risk the consequences.
Sara Price with the Colorado River Commission of Nevada addressed the federal government’s stated options.
“It’s important to understand that it’s a draft. These are not fixed alternatives. They were presented as a series of alternatives to be considered,” Price said.
“That’s just going to help drive people even more,” Johnson said. “Maybe even to […] to come up with a solution that works for the basin.”
A 45-day period for public comment on the federal government’s plan for the Colorado River opens Friday as the government works toward its decision in the summer.