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PNS Daily Newscast - July 23, 2018 


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Southwest Tips Hat to CO River: Feeds NV Drinking Water & Economy

PHOTO: Communities in Nevada and the Southwest are taking time out this week to recognize the role of the Colorado River. In addition to being the primary source of drinking water for much of the Silver State, the river also feeds Lake Mead, which provides nearly $3 billion each year for the state’s recreation economy. Photo credit: NASA
PHOTO: Communities in Nevada and the Southwest are taking time out this week to recognize the role of the Colorado River. In addition to being the primary source of drinking water for much of the Silver State, the river also feeds Lake Mead, which provides nearly $3 billion each year for the state’s recreation economy. Photo credit: NASA
July 26, 2013

LAS VEGAS – Nevadans are being invited to tip their hat to the Colorado River this week, as both a prime source of local drinking water and a major economic engine.

Community leaders from across the Southwest marked the second annual Colorado River Day Thursday.

Marco Rauda, Nevada advocacy coordinator with the group Nuestro Rio, said the river helps to feed the state's recreation economy to the tune of about $2.8 billion a year.

"We're talking about people that want to go out and hike at Lake Mead,” he said. “But we want to make sure the river is healthy for folks who want to go out there and kayak, and for businesses that are in the water."

Rauda said in addition to providing tap water for just about everybody in Las Vegas, the Colorado also is the prime source of drinking water for 26 million Americans.

Rauda credits the Southern Nevada Water Authority for helping folks in Las Vegas and other urban areas to understand the benefits of conserving water.

But he said for people in rural Nevada, the incentives often work in the wrong direction.

"With the laws that are now, rural communities have to use their water,” he explained. “If they don't use the water then they lose the water rights. So we need to look on modernizing our laws in order for the agriculture and our farmers."

Rauda said his group is working with local mayors and civic leaders to urge state and federal authorities to achieve savings of 3 million acre feet of water by 2060.

To put that in perspective, he said that same amount would cover all of Las Vegas with one 35-story building filled with water.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV