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Facilitator: Collaboration key to solving Nevada’s drought issue

Information gathered at this week's Drought Forum will nwo go to Gov. Brian Sandoval. This parched land east of Fallon.
STEVE RANSON /.LVN |

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s three-day Drought Summit concluded Wednesday afternoon with facilitator Lewis Michaelson advising all the various interests in attendance they must collaborate to find hard solutions to the issues, conflicts and questions raised.

The summit brought together a wide range of interests from miners and ranchers to the resort industry, state and federal officials, economic development officials and tribal leaders among others.

Now the data presented during the summit will go to members of the Drought Forum appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

“They have the difficult task of solving it and coming up with recommendations,” said Pam Robinson on behalf of Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Sandoval’s appointed drought forum meets Monday in Room 4100 of the legislative building.

There were a total of 14 different panels during the summit but a couple of attendees pointed out unless you were on one of those panels, you didn’t get to put in your two cents.

Michaelson said one topic that came up repeatedly was measurement. He said everyone wants to know how much water there is, is it being measured accurately, how much is being consumed versus recycled and how efficiently is it being used.

Talking about conservation, he said, “there seemed to me to be two different forms of conservation at work.”

“One is do less with less and that’s not the most popular message out there,” he said.

The other, he said is “can we use water more efficiently.”

He said that brought discussions about technology.

“The dark side of that is it takes money,” he said.

Another theme that flowed through the three days of discussion was, as Kyle Davis of Protect Nevada said, “this is a problem that likely isn’t going away.”

“We are going to see more and more droughts and they’re going to be longer in duration,” Davis told the attendees.

There also was a lot of discussion about changing some of the state’s water laws. But Michaelson said there seemed to be an understanding that change must be incremental rather than dramatic to avoid unintended consequences.

Some of that discussion centered on the general agreement as Michaelson put it, one size doesn’t fit all.

“The ability to have local control and tailor responses and solutions to that variety and diversity seemed to be important to people in the last three days,” he said.

He added those solutions “have not been found yet.”

Robinson said all of the slide presentations and documentation presented would be uploaded as soon as possible to the website http://www.drought.nv.gov along with a video of the entire three days which will be on the legislative website.