Seal of the State of Nevada

WHEREAS, the 2020-21 drought in Nevada and across the Southwestern U.S. is the worst since 1895, and the U.S. National Climate Assessment indicates that climate change is shifting the Southwestern U.S. toward aridification as temperatures increase, the landscape dries, and water resources change; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates approximately 90% of Nevada is experiencing severe to exceptional drought, all 17 counties have been designated drought disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the NOAA Climate Prediction Center projects drought will persist across the vast majority of the Southwest; and

WHEREAS, drought is now commonplace and conditions that would previously prompt a State drought emergency are now typical, necessitating that State agencies frequently respond to the impacts of drought across Nevada; and

WHEREAS, Nevada’s livelihoods, economies, and lifestyles are impacted by drought with livestock operations, agricultural production, and outdoor recreation all realizing losses; and

WHEREAS, Nevada has implemented innovative conservation and planning efforts that have enabled the State to navigate ongoing drought, changing water resources, as well as a growing population and economy; and

WHEREAS, the Southern Nevada Water Authority was the first water utility in the U.S. to implement a turf removal program; the Nevada Legislature passed a first-in-the-nation ban on non-functional turf across the Las Vegas metro area; and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development founded WaterStart to position Nevada as a global leader for water innovation; and

WHEREAS, Nevada will continue to lead the U.S. in water conservation practices and successfully manage our precious water resources, even in the face of climate change, while ensuring the revitalization of our economy and the protection of the environment; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that Lahontan and Rye Patch Reservoirs fell below 5% of their total capacity in September, and Lake Tahoe fell below its natural rim in October, and although reservoir levels have recovered, northern Nevada remains in drought; and

WHEREAS, the elevation of Lake Mead is below 1,075 ft, the lowest since it was filled, and the growing bathtub ring around the Lake is hampering recreation activities and threatening livelihoods, and projections indicate further declines that have triggered a Federal Colorado River Water Shortage Declaration; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that climate change is reducing flows on the Colorado River, Nevada offers support from across the State Executive Branch, and applauds the leadership of the Southern Nevada Water Authority in the discussions and negotiations among municipal water agencies, irrigation districts, Tribal Nations, and across the Colorado River Basin States that will ensure the sustainability of this important resource;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, STEVE SISOLAK, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEVADA, do hereby proclaim

CLIMATE CHANGE THREATENS NEVADA WITH ARIDIFICATION

Footer State Seal

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Nevada to be affixed at the State Capitol in Carson City, this 14th day of December, 2021

Governor's signature