4Just as the governors of 10 Western states met for a three-day meeting in Tahoe, June 24-26, regarding the issues of drought and how to overcome the effects, most towns are trying to establish their own ways of cutting back water use.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said, “What is certain is that this unprecedented drought is a critical issue, if not the critical issue facing the West today.”

With many recommendations and reviews from water strategists, it’s all about stretching every treasured drop of water available. The biggest concern involves the shrinking water supply and the unknown weather patterns ahead. Suggestions involved using wastewater more efficiently, tracking moisture levels, investing in wise infrastructure and holding an awareness of water waste.

Examples from the Drought Forum reported an outline, where toilet replacements came with rebates and other’s worked collectively to create reductions that helped drive down the water demand back to 1973 levels. One specific project came from Primm, as they treat the wastewater from local hotels and casinos, using it to cool a nearby power plant. Although other issues, involving public land control and the environment were relevant to their meeting, it was the desolation of water supply which dominated the annual meeting.

Sandoval established the Drought Forum in an effort of working together to ensure sustainable water for all generations.

“The Nevada Drought Forum will bring together some of the best minds in the water science, conservation, government and industry sectors to ensure that Nevada’s path forward is clear. The Forum will provide an opportunity for all Nevadans – urban and rural, north and south – to come together to help address this most critical challenge.”

As chairman of the Western Governors Association, Sandoval is leading the way in pursuing solutions and answers in a non-partisan way. Many other states acknowledge that the drought has been targeted within the Western states, effecting tourism, creating fire risk, decreasing wildlife, upsetting crops, livestock and creating unemployment within rural areas, removing the summer water sports revenue and creating health issues as air quality suffers due to low moisture and dust storms. The crucial realization is that consumers have to move into water conservation mode.

Many stated that, “the time of partnership rather than exclusive state rights will be the strategy to make water a resource for every citizen. The drought stage may be the new normal, but planning for it and storing when there is surplus again, is the best form of conservation within public awareness.”

To read the entire Drought Forum presentation visit westgov.org/drought-form.