77°F
weather icon Clear

Water conservation top priority for city

With the results of the primary election last month I will resume writing this monthly column for the remainder of my term as mayor ending in November. I congratulate Joe Hardy as the next mayor of Boulder City and look forward to a smooth transition in working with Joe.

While Boulder City is fortunately in a solid financial condition and our municipal employees continue to maintain and improve services to our residents, there are challenges ahead. Over the next several weeks the City Council will have information presented for consideration of plans to make significant progress in water conservation efforts.

I have written in the past about my efforts to find solutions that are right for Boulder City with regard to water conservation. Councilmember Claudia Bridges had advocated for a line to be constructed from our local wastewater treatment facility back into Henderson. I opposed this plan as it was clear the primary use of the line would be to facilitate growth in the Eldorado Valley. I have worked with our city staff to develop a plan to further treat wastewater and recycle it for irrigation at local golf courses and parks.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority has expressed support for such a plan and to provide funding for the project. SNWA supplies water to Boulder City as well as other cities in Clark County. SNWA has made it clear that we must reduce the amount of water being used in order to avoid forced cutbacks. The Bureau of Reclamation recently gave a 60-day notice that Nevada, Arizona and California must develop a plan to reduce water use by up to 4 million acre-feet of water. That is a huge amount of water. If a plan is not agreed on by the states, the federal government will impose a plan it develops.

There has been much talk during the election campaign of candidates who have plans without offering specifics for water conservation. I have made this a priority for the past three years and actual plans with specific details have been discussed and developed through community workshops and input directly from residents. The state Legislature has mandated the removal of “nonfunctional” or decorative grass in public areas with exceptions for areas like parks and schools.

City staff will begin implementing these plans that have been discussed with the approval of the City Council and input from our residents. These actions are not only the right things to be doing but many are also being mandated due to the rapidly accelerating drop in water supplies on the Colorado River.

There have been articles and opinion pieces that have appeared in this newspaper over the past year suggesting that we can continue as we have in the past. Statements that any attempts to conserve water, manage growth or find more efficient water uses are unnecessary and simply attempts to achieve some nefarious, evil goals are worse than just misleading. These statements are aimed at keeping the status quo for those who have things pretty good right now with growth policies that serve their interests.

The reality is that there are available methods we can use to lessen the impacts on our lives while still reducing significantly the amount of water the city uses. Our city staff has developed a listing of plants and trees that require less water. That information is available on the city website, bcnv.org.

SNWA also provides information on reducing outdoor water usage and continues to pay $3 per square foot of turf that is removed.

SNWA has mandated the amount of water being used at our local golf courses be reduced by a third. These types of reductions can be managed to still maintain our “clean, green” pride by being smarter and more efficient with our water use.

We will have to overcome the foot dragging by some like our Parks and Recreation Director Roger Hall who can’t seem to envision how landscaping can be done in ways that are efficient and attractive. For those who seek to deny the reality of where we are, the sand they choose to bury their heads into should not be what is now called beautiful Lake Mead.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.

THE LATEST
Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.