85°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Official lauds state’s water conservation activities

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said Dec. 11 that Nevada has been a national leader in water conservation by reducing demand on the Colorado River and investing in infrastructure over the past two decades.

In Las Vegas for the Colorado River Water Users Association’s annual conference, Burman declined to say, however, whether she sees Nevada’s share of the river’s water increasing, even though it draws the least amount of water than any other state.

Instead she said Mexico and seven Southwestern states served by the river were focused on working within the existing rules and regulations, known as the “Law of the River.”

In an interview with the Review-Journal, Burman said that “desalination is going to be part of the answer” to reducing draws on the river, noting that California has already made major investments on that front, and talks between Mexico and lower basin states have questioned whether desalination is possible in that country.

“We all really need to be looking at an all-of-the-above approach,” she said about viable long-term solutions to river sustainability.

A major step to protect the river, which has been in drought dating to 2000, occurred in May when top water officials celebrated completing emergency drought plans. Nevada was one of three states to agree to voluntarily cut river use and leave more in Lake Mead while other states vowed to send more water downstream.

In August, the Bureau of Reclamation announced that Lake Mead, which supplies Southern Nevada’s water, would begin 2020 slightly below the level that triggers voluntary conservation. But Nevada users save about seven times more water right now than the amount of conservation that will be needed, the bureau said.

Lake Mead and Lake Powell in Utah, the river’s second-largest reservoir, were essentially full in 1999. The storage staved off a difficult situation amid the river’s running drought, according to Burman. And while there have been occasional calls by some to drain Lake Powell, she said its importance is reflected in its role during the drought to avert a crisis.

Federal officials, river users and others have built trust and strong relationships in order to manage the basin and address risks, Burman concluded.

“Whatever the next step is, we’ll build on that,” she said. “And that’s what we do in this space.”

The three-day annual conference culminated with a tour of Hoover Dam with federal officials. It followed a keynote speech by Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Schools report smooth return

Parents can finally exhale after a long summer of kids in the house as school is back in session in Boulder City. On Monday, Aug. 8, all four schools in town welcomed back students for the 2022-23 school year in an orderly fashion without any mishaps.

Council OKs plan to remove turf

Water was once again the main focus for City Council. At its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9, an agreement with the Southern Nevada Water Association that will remove turf in Boulder City to save on water was approved 4-0 by the council.

Council gets first look at Nevada Way remodel

The Boulder City Council was introduced to a project that will remodel and rehabilitate the stretch of Nevada Way from Wyoming to Park streets during its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9.

More human remains found at Lake Mead

More human remains have been found at Lake Mead, according to officials at the national recreation area.

Fire department targets sites to improve response times

Two locations are being targeted for a new Boulder City Fire substation that the City Council approved last month to help the department improve response time to emergencies. The proposed new fire station, labeled Station 122, is looking at sites at Quartzite Road and Nevada Way as well as near the library at 701 Adams Boulevard. The city owns land in both locations.

Ex-manager sues city; claims retaliation

Former City Manager Al Noyola filed a lawsuit against the city Friday, July 29, alleging that his civil rights were violated when he was fired Oct. 13, 2020.

School begins Monday

School is almost back in session for the quartet of schools in Boulder City.

Storms cause minor damage

Monsoon season brought damage to Boulder City as the town was hit with a collection of storms last week. Luckily, the city was able to handle the storms in an efficient manner, according to officials, who dealt with the typical gravel and rock erosion, power outages and roof leaks.

Lend A Hand awarded $101K from state

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Nevada has awarded $30 million in Community Recovery Grants to nonprofit organizations including Lend A Hand of Boulder City. The local organization was one of the 30-plus applicants that received money funded by American Rescue Act Plan dollars.

Drought drives tough talks to cut water use

Nevada and two of its neighboring Southwestern states are still working on ways to drastically cut water use from the Colorado River as a deadline set by the federal government to address the worsening conditions along the river quickly approaches.