Strongly worded letter today from John Entsminger of the Southern Nevada Water Authority about the failure to reach a deal on Colorado River cutbacks:
More later, I’m supposed to be paying attention to a zoom meeting, but making this as broadly publicly available as possible seemed important. Click the “view document” link to see the whole thing.
From Andrew Stone, American Ground Water Trust.
Perhaps these historic cartoon perspectives from Arizona should be a reminder that Colorado Water issues have always been a management challenge: https://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/digital/collection/p17220coll19/id/53/
At last, someone with their hair on fire.
John wrote a good letter. Pat Mulroy was always ahead of curve by 20 years. Nevada, had to get
smart and creative and they did.
Now, everyone has to follow that lead. But, in my short life, the Federal Gov has never been the
answer when it comes to crisis and creativity.
Truth is a powerful force, combined with freedom, I have great confidence in many fine souls creating
insights that will make the big picture and future better. Crisis management implemented at all levels
is called for. Everyone is better option than Big Brother.
I appreciate that John Entsminger is apparently taking part of the blame for these problems. He told the Mayor of Boulder City in late spring 2019 that he guaranteed Boulder City’s water supply for the next 40 years (in a recorded city council meeting).
He could not even guarantee it for the next two years. I have been trying without success (yet) to bring about serious cuts in usage in southern Nevada and in Boulder City. The opposing message from SNWA over the past few years that there is no problem for southern Nevada given their foresight and planning has made everything more difficult.
SNWA has done some terrific water use reduction. John Entsminger and the SNWA rightfully takes credit for their reduced lawn/ornamental gardening water use. But, the issue they miss is this:
With 80% of the water used in AZ and CA used for agriculture, that water also a BENEFITS OTHERS with low cost, high quality food production.
The lower basin state options for how best to use the Colorado River water;
1. For increasing the residential population in Las Vegas /Clark County
2. For continued food and agriculture production in AZ and CA
Given this binary choice, I can say that option #2 would generally win out. SNWA can take credit for reducing the amount water used for existing ornamental landscaping, but they should not expect the rest of the Colorado River water users to continue to subsidize the population growth of Southern Nevada with water for new homeowners.