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CA Starts Water Restrictions; What About Nevada?

PHOTO: California Gov. Jerry Brown is ordering mandatory water restrictions, but officials in Nevada say the Silver State has had strict conservation measures in place for many years. Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey.
PHOTO: California Gov. Jerry Brown is ordering mandatory water restrictions, but officials in Nevada say the Silver State has had strict conservation measures in place for many years. Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey.
April 2, 2015

LAS VEGAS - As California implements historic mandatory water restrictions, Nevada officials say the Silver State is prepared to face the ongoing drought after more than a decade of conservation efforts. Bronson Mack, public information officer with the Southern Nevada Water Authority, says the Las Vegas area has been conserving water for many years.

"We initiated mandatory watering schedules," says Mack. "We initiated drought ordinances in relation to development. So we've done a number of things here in the early 2000s locally that have put Southern Nevada in a pretty good position today, from a drought and water resource perspective."

California Governor Jerry Brown is ordering residents, cities and towns as well as businesses and farms to cut water use by 25 percent. It's being blamed on record low snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, a major water source for the state.

Mack says the Bureau of Reclamation is forecasting the possibility Nevada could see a cut in its Colorado River allocation in future years. However, he says, even if that happens, the state is prepared.

"We have reduced our water demands of Colorado River water enough that we can absorb those shortages without having to make any, kind of, draconian conservation measures necessary or take any real extreme efforts to cut water use even further," Mack says.

Because of the drought this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared primary natural disaster areas in more than 250 counties in Nevada, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV