What does the new historic water deal mean for Nevada and Lake Mead?
The Colorado River quenches the thirst of about 20 million people in the desert southwest. And an estimated 80% of that water is used to grow alfalfa to feed livestock.
But what worked for decades before isn’t working anymore.
Climate change and more than two decades of drought have dropped the lake to levels unseen since the 1930s.
In turn, Nevada and other states have retooled agreements, searching for ways to conserve river water. But the rate of depletion is accelerating and the deals haven’t been fast and big enough.
The latest effort, an agreement between Nevada, California and Arizona, would cut water usage by more than 3 million acre-feet over the next three years.
But how will they do it? And is that enough?
John Entsminger is the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Alex Hager covers water issues for KUNC in Colorado.
Guests: John Entsminger, general manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority; Alex Hager, reporter, KUNC