Drought

Drought Forcing Rattlesnakes Into Populated Areas

May 19, 2015
National Park Service

Nevada's warming weather means reptiles like rattlesnakes will be out during the daytime hours - and when that's the case, they can pose dangerous threats to residents.

Ninety percent of rattlesnake bites can be avoided if the animal is left alone. That's according to Chris Healy from the Nevada Department of Wildlife. He says many snake bites result from people approaching, rather than avoiding the snake.

With historically high temperatures, low humidity, and dry, dry land, Northern Nevada is facing what could be a devastating fire season. For our ongoing series on the drought and all its ripple effects, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss ventured out to Washoe Valley where local firefighters have been preparing for what this summer may bring.  

Greg Jackson is an operator for the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, and he’s hiking through the woods to a half-dead, towering pine tree that his crew will cut down for practice. 

The lush green lawns around Washoe County are sparking a local debate about what types of plants are right for the dry high desert region, especially during this fourth year of drought. As part of our series on the ongoing drought, Reno Public Radio's Anh Gray reports.

Drought A "Positive Thing" For Landscaping Business

Apr 29, 2015
Esther Ciammachilli

Believe it or not, some businesses flourish when there's a drought. As Nevada enters it's fourth dry season in a row, many residents are trying to do their part to conserve water and they're asking area landscapers for help. Reno Public Radio's Esther Ciammachilli sat down with Lebo Newman from  Signature Landscapes to see how the drought is impacting their business and get tips on how to save water.  

University of Nevada, Reno

Out on the range, the drought means a lot of things—not having enough water to quench the thirst of your cattle or not having enough feed growing where you need it most.

And then there’s the danger of a wildfire.

All of these problems are leading many ranchers to ship their animals east. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss spoke to Bryan Masini to learn more. He owns ranches outside Yerington and Elko. 

  

Alexa Ard

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is asking customers to voluntarily cut their water usage by ten percent. To figure out how to actually do that, we reached out to local experts who offered these tips:

Tip #1: Monitor and adjust your irrigation system

People use four times more water in the summer to irrigate their lawns. Here's Master Gardener Wendy Hanson-Mazet from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension with a tip on how to cut back on that amount.

Tip #2: Use mulch

This time last year, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss visited Rick Lattin in Fallon where they toured his farm and talked about Lattin’s growing concern for his crops, especially the alfalfa.

Now, with yet another harvest threatened by the ongoing drought, Michelle checked up on Lattin to find out how he and other farmers in that community are holding up.

Do We Have Enough Water?

Apr 27, 2015

The Sierra Nevada is experiencing the most dismal snowpack in a century, causing many people to worry about the water supply.

“We really need to be much more conservative, and we all need to cut back,” Sandy Rogers said.

“There’s an enormous number of people; we all want water," Oscar Salgado said. "There’s more people every day, and apparently there’s less water every day.”

“I’m nervous that there’s not going to be any water left," Katherine Gonzalez said.  "If you look at the Truckee River right now, it looks like a creek.”

Dr. Loretta Singletary
UNR

Spring is here, but winter once again never really visited the West. Drought is on everyone’s mind, and University of Nevada, Reno research related to the region's water and its users has gained important funding.  

Sandoval Orders Drought Forum

Apr 8, 2015
gov.nv.gov

Governor Brian Sandoval has issued an executive order to create a panel for studying and combating Nevada's severe drought. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that Sandoval announced the order Wednesday during a press conference at Washoe Lake State Park.

The order will create a Nevada Drought Forum designed to 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.

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