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A wet winter won’t stave off the Colorado River’s water cuts

By Joshua Partlow

The abundant snow in the Rocky Mountains this year has been a welcome relief, but is not enough to overcome two decades of drought that has pushed major reservoirs along the Colorado River down to dangerous levels, Camille Calimlim Touton, the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said Monday at the outset of a three-day trip along the river with a bipartisan delegation of senators to push for an agreement on how to conserve an unprecedented amount of water.


From ‘forever chemicals’ to septic tanks, lawmakers weigh new environmental laws

By Daniel Rothberg

About one-third of the way through the 120-day biennial legislative session, lawmakers have introduced dozens of bills affecting the management of water, wildlife and the environment. In this week’s newsletter, we break down some of the major bills pending before state lawmakers.


How NV tribes are saving Lahontan cutthroat trout from extinction

By Jeniffer Solis

Thousands of captive-raised specimens of the largest cutthroat trout species in North America are released into Pyramid Lake every year, but despite the trout’s size and might, they are also one of the most threatened.


Nevada to add gas plant as drought tests US West power grids

By Rio Yamat

Utility regulators in Nevada gave the state’s largest power provider clearance to start work on a $333 million project to build a natural gas plant in the state for the first time in nearly 15 years, signaling yet another consequence of the extreme drought conditions in the southwestern U.S.


Biden creates two new national monuments in Nevada and Texas

By Steve Holland

U.S. President Joe Biden created two new national monuments, in Nevada and Texas, on Tuesday and launched an effort to consider expanding protections for all waters around remote Pacific islands southwest of Hawaii.


Secretary Haaland Applauds President Biden’s Designation of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today applauded President Biden’s designation of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in southern Nevada. Located at the confluence of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, the national monument will protect innumerable objects of historic and scientific interest, including its namesake Avi Kwa Ame – or Spirit Mountain – and the surrounding arid valleys and mountain ranges that are historically important and sacred places for several Tribal Nations.


USDA to spend $197 million to prepare for wildfires brought on by climate change

By Dinah Voyles Pulver

Federal officials announced $197 million in grants on Monday to help more than 100 communities and tribes across the nation become more resilient to wildfire.


Las Vegas water agency seeks power to limit residential use

By Associated Press

Nevada lawmakers are considering a remarkable shift in allowing the water agency that manages the Colorado River supply for Las Vegas to limit single-family residential use in the desert city and surrounding county.


Nevada lawmakers eye plan to restrict Las Vegas water supply, citing climate change: ‘Worst case scenario’

By Michael Lee

Nevada state lawmakers are considering a plan to give water authorities the power to limit the amount of water available for residential use. “It’s a worst case scenario plan,” Democratic Assemblyman Howard Watts of Las Vegas, one of the bill’s sponsors, told the Associated Press. “It makes sure that we prioritize the must-haves for a home. Your drinking water, your basic health and safety needs.”


Who gets harmed as the Colorado River changes?

By Jennifer Pitt

National and regional media love a good fight, and lately a day doesn’t pass without a major news story or op-ed focused on Colorado River disagreements, particularly amongst the seven states of the Colorado River Basin (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Which state must bear the brunt of shortages needed as Colorado River flows decline? Which sector of water users takes the hit as climate change continues to diminish the river? Should urban water supplies be protected because that’s where all the people are? (Municipal water supply representatives will quickly remind us that if all urban uses of Colorado River water were cut off, there would still be a shortage). Should agricultural water supplies be protected because we all need to eat? Historic agreements and common sense tend to clash—or don’t—depending on who is telling the story.