In the recent issue of “Water Grab,” a publication of the Great Basin Water Network, a report said water in western Nevada is in short supply, just like much of eastern rural Nevada, with reservoirs empty.
“The water we have in places like Lyon, Douglas, Washoe and Storey County is already in use and in many cases over appropriated,” said Kyle Roerink, editor of Great Basin Water Network.
The magazine reported the current California exodus means a Nevada increase. Population growth in the RenoCarson-Fernley-Fallon metro area is having an impact on housing prices and rent.
Roerink said, “Of course the California expats aren’t bringing with them any extra rain or snow either.”
More of the same is expected in the coming year Roerink thinks and poses an interesting set of questions. What does more of the same mean for existing water rights holders and the Ag industry? What does it mean for the public interest (wildlife, recreation, ecosystems)? What does it mean for water managers tasked with doing more with less? What does it mean for places like Pyramid Lake?” Roerink didn’t say, but Walker Lake and Lake Tahoe could be included in those questions as well.
Roerlink mentioned Derby Dam, Lahontan Reservoir, Carson River at Fort Churchill and Little Washoe Lake, most of which are extremely dry, if even existent at all. He noted that in 2019, Lahontan Reservoir held 239,000 acre feet of water. In September, 2021, it had only 5,700 acre feet. An acre-foot of water is equal to covering the field at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas one-foot deep.
He did not mention what the water level is at Walker Lake.