Gov. Sandoval Signs Executive Order Creating Nevada Drought Foru - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Gov. Sandoval Signs Executive Order Creating Nevada Drought Forum

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Governor Brian Sandoval has signed an executive order establishing the Nevada Drought Forum to address the state's ongoing drought issues. 

He made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in Washoe Lake State Park in Washoe Valley. "I signed an Executive Order establishing the Nevada Drought Forum bringing together the best minds in scientific, conservation, government and industry sectors...We are and have always been the driest state in the nation. Drought affects all Nevadans."

The Nevada Drought Forum will study and analyze state water use and potential areas for water savings. Sandoval's order also requires a water audit of all state-owned facilities.

The panel will be required to hold a public stakeholder meeting in September and produce bi-weekly drought impact reports.

Sandoval says this forum will have very little cost.

Officials say drought reserves are about where they were a year ago.

"Together, I'm confident we can identify measured and meaningful steps toward addressing this drought and securing our future for generations to come."

Earlier Wednesday, Washoe County announced it would reduce water use by 10% at County buildings and parks, except for water play parks Melio Gaspari at Lazy 5 Regional Park and the North Valleys Water Play Parks because they recycle and recirculate water.

Truckee River flows are expected to peak by early June and Lake Tahoe's level is still more than two inches below its natural rim. And this year's low snowpack makes matters even worse. "Unusable boat ramps, baron ski slopes, struggling farmers and dwindling reservoirs continue to serve as a stark reminder of the importance of our most precious natural resource. Water."

Last month, Truckee Meadows Water Authority announced it wanted customers to reduce their water usage by 10% effective immediately for both indoor – and outdoor water use, after four years of drought. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in February declared most of the state as a natural disaster area due to lingering drought conditions and historically low water levels.

For more information on the Nevada Drought Forum, go to http://drought.nv.gov/

"We're not in the same position as California. It isn't an emergency. It isn't meant to panic anyone. We're all used to living in the desert and we're all used to conserving water. But perhaps we can do better," said Gov. Sandoval.

Recently - California Governor Jerry Brown ordered the California state water board to implement reductions in cities and towns to cut usage by 25%. California's order also requires campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes to significantly cut water use and ban watering of grass on public street medians.

(The Associated Press also contributed to this report.) 

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