Nevada Gov. Sandoval opens Drought Forum on water supply in Las Vegas


Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on Monday framed the enormous challenges caused by drought in the West, while also exhorting the "dream team" of experts attending the latest meeting of the Western Governors’ Drought Forum to find solutions to the issue.

Gov. Sandoval offered opening remarks at the two-day Drought Forum workshop "Drought Impacts and Solutions for Water Supply Management," being held Monday and Tuesday (Dec. 8-9) at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas.

The gathering organized by the Western Governors' Association (WGA) is the fourth held this year as part of the Drought Forum, the Chairman’s Initiative of Gov. Sandoval, who is WGA's Chairman.

Gov. Sandoval reminded the audience that while California has historic drought conditions and 97% of Nevada is experiencing some level of drought, most of the rest of the West also faces drought. As a result, the governor wants the Drought Forum to create a tool that can be used across the region, and continually updated.

"I didn't want to create a report in a binder gathering dust," the governor said of the work being done. "So we have created a living, breathing web archive that can be continually updated."

The governor praised the invited attendees at the event, encouraging them to help find solutions. "We have a dream team of drought experts in the West -- and in America -- here to share best practices, help solve this challenge."

The first day of the Nevada meeting also included sessions on current drought conditions in the West and drought’s impact on water supply management. Each Drought Forum workshop highlights a case study. On Monday that was "Collaboration in Addressing Drought in Southern Nevada.

The Western Governors' Drought Forum fosters a regional dialogue where Western states and industry can share best practices on drought policy, preparedness and management. Participants at Drought Forum workshops identify ways to avoid and mitigate the impact of drought on communities, economies and the environment in a specific sector.

Previous workshops have been held in Norman, Okla., where the focus was drought's impact on energy, Tempe, Ariz. (energy, mining and manufacturing), and Sacramento, Calif. (agriculture).

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