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Stakeholders Come Together at Governor's Drought Summit

Governor Sandoval and water experts from all over the state were in Carson City this week conferring about water – it’s use, who gets it and, most importantly, the lack of it in the Southwest.

Stakeholders from water districts, cities and towns and industry were at the summit, held the first three days of this week.

Michelle Bliss, news director of NPR member station KUNR in Reno, was at the summit. She said there was a lot of talking and a lot indepth presentations.

"The summit was serving as a chance for everybody to get together to share their side of the story on a complicated and controversial issue," Bliss said.

According to her, the summit ended with recommendations that an eight-person panel, appointed by the governor in April, come out with a final plan by the end of the year.

"I do think that the tone of this summit was compromise. I think everyone realizes this is a finite resource," Bliss said.

There was no word on how that plan might deviate from the current approach to water.

Like in California, water rights are allocated by historical agreement - with people who got the rights first entitled to get water first. This leaves some in populous areas like Southern Nevada sometimes the last to receive allocated water. And the seniority system, some groups argue, doesn't encourage or reward conservation.

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Michelle Bliss, News Director, KUNR in Reno

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