Nevada is probably most famous for the lights and luxury of Las Vegas—the city receives 42 million visitors this year. However, Nevada has many claims to fame. It is also the driest and most mountainous state in the country and is home to over 150 mountain ranges not to mention over 3 million people. It spans nearly 110 square miles.

As Nevada is already the driest state in the nation, it is extremely vulnerable to extreme heat and drought. Nevada’s Reno is the fastest-warming city in the US. By 2050 the state is projected to see about 50 heat wave days per, up from 15 in 2000, and 30 days that reach dangerous levels. Already in the summer of 2019, Las Vegas had to set up shelters and temporary cooling stations to help people escape the intolerable heat. Wildfires are also of concern here.

These changes are putting an extreme strain on Nevada’s water supply. As in other places around the world, warmer temperatures shift rain patterns so that rain storms often become more intense even as they are less frequent. As snowpack melts earlier in the Spring, it also evaporates more quickly. The result of these combined forces is dried-out land and shrinking bodies of water.

Formed by the Hoover Dam in 1935 and fed by the Colorado River, Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country, has dropped 143 feet since 2000, is now just 37% full with an estimate of 34% by the end of 2021. So disturbed by the water scarcity, representatives of seven Western states ( Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico) and the federal government signed a landmark deal already in 2019, laying out potential cuts in water deliveries through 2026 to reduce the risks of the river’s reservoirs hitting critically low levels. 25 million people rely on Lake Mead and, as the first round of water cuts take place, hardest hit will be the agricultural and tribal communities. As Nevada’s Director of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources admitted at the time, Nevada has already reached critical mass in terms of its water supply and is seeking ways to pump in water from out of state.

And, there is another danger: more than four-fifths of Nevada’s land is owned and managed by the federal government—a higher share than in any other state—and one of the nation’s largest federal hydroelectric facilities, the Hoover Dam –normally producing 2,000 megawatts of hydropower—enough electricity for nearly 8 million Americans, is delivering 25% less as Lake Mead is diminished, affecting several states, including California, Arizona and Nevada, all of which get energy from the dam. If the lake loses another 175 feet, water will no longer flow through the Hoover Dam.

Nevada is not a major energy-producing state — in 2019, 85% of the energy consumed in Nevada came from out-of-state. Most of its electricity comes from natural gas, which fuels about 65% of its consumption, with 28% of Nevada’s electricity generated from renewable energy. It ranks second in the nation in electricity generation from geothermal energy and fourth in utility-scale generation from solar.

Nevada is also taking concerted steps towards addressing climate change. In 2020 Governor Steve Sisolak signed an executive order that required collaboration across state, private, and tribal partners to create a State Climate Strategy. And, in June 2021, the legislature approved a sweeping clean energy bill that aims to accelerate construction of a massive transmission project, increase spending on electric vehicle infrastructure and require that the state join a regional transmission organization (RTO) by 2030. Nevada also has a first-of-its-kind hybrid geothermal-solar power plant, which combines geothermal power with solar PV and solar thermal generation.

Nevada is one of twenty four states, plus Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.


Biden creates two new national monuments in Nevada and Texas

By Steve Holland 03/22/23
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.
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Female Energy Secretary Claps Back After Nevada Governor Questions Whether She ‘Actually Understands’ Science

By Virginia Chamlee 02/10/23
"Big words can be intimidating, I understand," Energy Sec. Jennifer Granholm, only the second woman to hold the title, said in response to Gov. Joe Lombardo's comments
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All eyes are on water, but Nevada faces other environmental threats

By Paul Boger and Kristen DeSilva 02/08/23
When we talk about environmental issues in Nevada, we often focus on one thing ... water. That makes sense: The mega-drought we’re in has dropped Lake Mead to levels unseen in almost 90 years.
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Colorado River crisis is so bad, lakes Mead and Powell are unlikely to refill in our lifetimes

By Rong-Gong Lin 11 and Ian James 02/06/23
The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is the deepest it’s been in decades, but those storms that were a boon for Northern California won’t make much of a dent in the long-term water shortage for…
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Shrinking Colorado River hands Biden his first climate brawl

By Annie Snider 02/04/23
A fracas among the seven states along the drought-stricken Colorado River is forcing the first major reckoning for the Biden administration over who should bear the pain of adapting to a changing climate.
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The “Law of the River” at the heart of the Colorado River crisis

By Hayley Smith and Ian James 02/03/23
It’s a crisis nearly 100 years in the making: Seven states — all reliant on a single mighty river as a vital source of water — failed to reach an agreement this week on how…
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Desalination and conservation are the answer to drought

By Ron Aryel 02/01/23
The Colorado River is in a state of crisis — which means the seven states and Mexico that rely on its water are in trouble, as well. Last summer, a lack of precipitation and meager…
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As the Colorado River shrinks, Washington prepares to spread the pain

By Christopher Flavelle 01/27/23
The seven states that rely on the river for water are not expected to reach a deal on cuts. It appears the Biden administration will have to impose reductions.
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In California’s Imperial Valley, farmers brace for a future with less Colorado River water

By Ian James 01/27/23
Just north of the California-Mexico border, the All-American Canal cuts across 80 miles of barren, dune-swept desert. Up to 200 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the canal delivers the single largest share of Colorado…
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The Colorado River is overused and shrinking. Inside the crisis transforming the Southwest

By Ian James and Molly Hennessy-Fiske 01/26/23
The Colorado River begins as melting snow, trickling from forested peaks and coursing in streams that gather in the meadows and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Like arteries, its major tributaries take shape across Colorado,…
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A river guide’s view of Lake Powell’s decline and the depths of the Colorado River crisis

By Ian James 01/26/23
Muddy water whizzed past as John Weisheit steered a motorboat upstream in the Colorado River. He revved the engine as the boat sped around a bend and up a riffle.
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Rising Flood Risk in Las Vegas: Study Reveals Interaction of Climate Change and Urban Development

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, with its rapid urbanization and desert landscape, is highly vulnerable to flooding. For this reason, flood managers have built an extensive system of drainage ditches and detention basins to protect the…
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BYD helping light up Las Vegas with renewables using massive 543 MWh energy storage system

BYD has announced plans to implement a 543 MWh Cube Pro liquid-cooled energy storage system (ESS) in Las Vegas, expected to begin commercial operation before year’s end. The Chinese automaker and battery specialist shared that…

Let’s make geothermal energy boom in Nevada

When you think about renewable energy in Nevada, it’s natural to focus on solar energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, our state has “the greatest solar power potential in the nation.”

New Laws Help NV Reach Clean-Energy Goals, Limit Air Pollution

Some Nevada laws going into effect this year aim to move the state's clean-energy goals forward and help reduce air pollution.

BLM to study latest massive Nev. solar project

The solar farm is one of three projects proposed for about 40 miles west of Las Vegas that together could power about 520,000 homes.

Approval in Nevada for large-scale solar-plus-storage projects to replace coal

With the North Valmy Generating Station in Winnemucca, Nevada scheduled for retirement, utility NV Energy needs to replace it by 2025. The company signed contracts with renewables developer Primergy to purchase two solar-plus-storage facilities totalling…

Nevada ranks in the top 10 states for biggest solar economy

Solar panels have become normalized among landscapes, spotted everywhere from the open spaces of deserts to rooflines of dense residential areas. Installed on rooftops, covered carports, parking lots, and even closed landfills, solar accounted for…

Pilot project in Nevada aims to convert oil wells into geothermal producers

Geothermal development company Transitional Energy announced that it was selected to receive a $2,500,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO). The award is to support the transition of hydrocarbon wells…

City of Las Vegas building projects are designed to save energy, water

Enter any building owned by the city of Las Vegas — take City Hall, for example — and know that the bright lights and cool air have been powered by 100% sustainable energy since 2016,…

Visualizing the Global Demand for Lithium

With the ongoing shift to electric vehicles (EVs) and clean energy technologies, governments and EV manufacturers are rushing to secure their supply chains as demand for lithium soars.

NV Energy Foundation awards $246K in energy grants to 4 nonprofits

The NV Energy Foundation announced this month it awarded $246,000 in Clean Energy Access for Nevada (CLEAN) grants to four Nevada nonprofits: Envirolution, Faith Organizing Alliance, Las Vegas Indian Center and Make the Road Nevada.

‘We live in a desert. We have to act like it’: Las Vegas faces reality of drought

By Oliver Milman 07/09/21
Investigator Perry Kaye jammed the brakes of his government-issued vehicle to survey the offense. “Uh oh this doesn’t look too good. Let’s take a peek,” he said, exiting the car to handle what has become…


During Nevada’s recently concluded biennial legislative session, Senator Pat Spearman sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, a measure that would have mandated a study to explore new energy resources in Nevada. The legislation died quietly in…

Nevada Pushes Accelerator On Renewables, Transmission Lines

Nevada upped its bet on renewable energy when Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation speeding the development of a $2.5 billion electric transmission line through the heart of the state.

Nevada passes clean energy bill requiring state to join RTO, accelerating $2B transmission project

The Nevada legislature on Monday approved a sweeping clean energy bill that aims to accelerate construction of a massive transmission project, increase spending on electric vehicle infrastructure and require that the state join a regional transmission…

Solar-plus-batteries chosen to replace 522MW Nevada coal plant

By Andy Colthorpe 06/03/21
Nevada utility NV Energy has proposed building two large-scale solar-plus-storage plants to replace a coal plant as part of the company’s triennial Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filing.

City of Reno Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

In February 2016, Governor Sandoval joined a bipartisan group of seventeen governors to announce the Governor’s Accord for a New Energy Future. This state-led initiative enables participating states to work together to capture clean energy…

State of Nevada Status of Energy Report

In February 2016, Governor Sandoval joined a bipartisan group of seventeen governors to announce the Governor’s Accord for a New Energy Future. This state-led initiative enables participating states to work together to capture clean energy…


Nevada State Profile and Energy Estimates

Known as the Silver State, Nevada is rich in mineral deposits, particularly gold and silver. It is also rich in renewable energy resources. Nevada is part of the Basin and Range region where iconic buttes…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Nevada

Between 2017 and 2019, Nevada experienced one severe wildfire and two intense droughts. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Nevada

Nevada is vulnerable to increasing heat, melting snowpack, droughts, and wildfires

NV Solar Residential

We provide information, technical support and customer service to homeowners that want to make the switch to Solar Power. Our Solar Energy Consultations are free of charge.

A Nevada Climate Change Calculator

The NV 2050 calculator helps users discover what would happen if we continued on the path we are currently on, if we made a major effort to switch to renewable energy and if we landed somewhere…

Nevada Natural Heritage Program

The Climate Change Program at the Nevada Natural Heritage Program, a contributing member of the NatureServe network for connecting science with conservation across the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

Nevada Climate Change Portal

Seeking to provide cloud-like “research-as-a-service (RaaS)”, the focus of this project is to advance the quality and quantity of infrastructure and data collection for climate, hydrological, and ecological information pertaining to the state of Nevada.…

Renewable Options: Nevada

This overview provides a starting point by providing insight into state market and regulatory context that impacts the renewable energy procurement options available. Options that are available within each state are highlighted and introduced. As…


Nevada climate blueprint proposes 17 policy changes to curb emissions

By Bill Dentzer   12/04/20  
A long-term blueprint for guiding Nevada to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century calls for the end of gas-powered heating and cooking in homes and businesses, buyback programs for high-polluting vehicles, and energy-efficient labeling for…
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Nevada Outlines Strategy To Combat Climate Change

By Heidi Kyser   12/04/20  
The Nevada Climate Initiative has described the strategy as a "roadmap" to help the state deal with or combat climate change. It was created after an executive order by Gov. Steve Sisolak in 2019 that charged the executive…
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Election updates: Nevada renewable energy standard appears likely to pass

By Ken Paulman   11/04/20  
While the outcome of the 2020 presidential election may not be known for a few days, the outcome of several energy-related city and state ballot measures is becoming clear.
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Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Carson City Chapter Monthly Meeting is Online

By Cheryl Pawluk   09/01/20  
This month's meeting will review what is occurring and what we want to do to mitigate the effects of climate change. Everyone is welcome to attend the online Zoom meeting by contacting our email (…
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Nevada residents criticize Lake Powell pipeline plan in Utah

Laughlin residents Brea Chiodini and Sharon Sauer, both members of the “River Flow Committee” community organization, are collecting signatures for a letter they intend to send to the Bureau of Reclamation about what they see…
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PUC to investigate NV Energy power plan

By Jeff Gillan   08/27/20  
Last week, NV Energy dodged a bullet: under a historic heatwave, the company managed to keep the power flowing - and your ac running.
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Gov. Steve Sisolak announces Nevada climate initiative

The website, he said, includes an online survey and schedule of virtual listening sessions to provide residents with the opportunity to share input and perspectives to guide development of a state climate strategy.
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State of Nevada launches website to address climate change

By Caroline Bleakley   08/24/20  
“I am proud to lead Nevada’s effort to take aggressive, needed action on climate change in our great state through my new Nevada Climate Initiative,” said Governor Sisolak. “Tackling climate change will require continued action…
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Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
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Indy Environment: Heat waves, wildfires and the fingerprints of climate change

By Daniel Rothberg   08/20/20  
By Wednesday, the Washoe County Health District posted a notice with ways to protect oneself from wildfire smoke. It included the following recommendation: “consider relocating temporarily.”
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Bold action is needed to face down the consequences of climate change

It was believed to be the first warning of its type, and it undoubtedly won’t be the last. Fire tornadoes have occurred in the past, and they’re likely to become even more frequent as human-caused…
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Growing Food While Growing Climate Solutions

Most ranchers and farmers rely on middlemen to get their products to market. Ranchers work with feedlots, slaughterhouses, and meat processing plants to turn their hard work into income. When those middlemen are local, ranchers…
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Betting Against the House

A truly global disease pandemic was more likely than not to occur at some point in the 21st century. Regional epidemics occur with enough regularity. In the last two decades, the 2002-2004 SARS virus epidemic,…
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For Many Nevada Latino Voters, Action on Climate Change is Key

By Marianne Lavelle   02/19/20  
The state’s caucuses may be a bellwether for the 2020 election, the first time Hispanics will be the largest minority group going to the polls.
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Trump administration set to approve NV Energy’s 1.5 GWh storage, 690 MW solar project

By Catherine Morehouse   01/02/20  
The Trump administration intends to approve siting for the largest solar farm in the United States, a 690 MW facility that will also include 380 MW of 4 hour battery storage.
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Health Officials (Mostly) Not Waiting to Act on Climate

By Juanita Constible   07/09/19  
A new report released by EcoAdapt with the support of NRDC finds that public health departments in 16 U.S. states are building their capacity to deal with the myriad health harms of climate disruption—even if…
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Nevada passes bill for 50% renewables by 2030, 100% carbon free by 2050

By Catherine Morehouse   04/22/19  
Nevada on Friday passed a bill that would require the state to generate 50% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030 and aim for 100% carbon-free resources by 2050.
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Clean energy employs five times more Nevadans than fossil fuels

By Michelle Froese   04/04/19  
As the Nevada Legislature considers legislation to advance clean energy, including a bill for the state to get half of its energy from renewable sources, a new report shows the importance of clean energy to…
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Nevada Senator Introduces Legislation for 50% Renewables by 2030 RPS

By Emma Foehringer Merchant   03/20/19  
The proposed law also sets out a goal to reach 100 percent clean electricity by 2050.
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A Nevada Climate Change Calculator

By Fred Wasser   01/14/19  
As more information comes to the surface about climate change, many of us might be wondering what kinds of remedies might be instituted in Nevada – and how quickly.
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Learning from Sin City: How Las Vegas saves so much water

By Sammy Roth   08/27/15  
The clock reads 7:30 a.m. as Perry Kaye climbs into a truck outside the Las Vegas Valley Water District office, a few miles from the Strip. It’s already a punishingly hot August day in Sin…
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