Dept. of Ag: Nevada Currently in Extreme Drought
The Deptment of Agriculture lists 1,016 counties across the country for drought danger, and the entire state of Nevada is on it.
But state officials say our drought danger is kind of a two-sided coin.
"The reservoirs are full, so if you get your water from a mainstream reservoir you are going to be okay. We have plenty of water for the farmers and the down stream users for the entire summer," says Chief Deputy Federal Water Master Chad Blanchard. "But if you depend on upstream creeks and ground water it's already drying up."
Gary Barbato is a National Weather Service Hydrologist who is also on the State Drought Committee.
"We had a great winter last year so the reservoirs are full but it all depends on what we get this next winter. We live in a desert and we are used to this. But if you have two or three or four years of dry winters in a row, we can get into trouble," he says.
Meantime, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, assesses the situation year-to-year before deciding whether or not to put water restrictions into place.
"We can have three or four or five bad years before we need to start conservation measures," says John Erwin who is the Director of Natural Resources for TMWA. "And it snows every winter in the mountains. We just never know when or how much we'll get."
Written by Erin Breen