LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – This winter’s heavy rains contributed to Nevada’s drought. This time two years ago, Southern Nevada was in an exceptional drought, the worst possible category.
All of Clark County is now in either severe or moderate drought, showing significant improvement. In Lee Canyon, they are approaching record snowfall. The all-time record is 255 inches. Currently, they are at 237 inches and expect 10 to 20 inches more with Tuesday’s storm.
Last fall, FOX5 told you about the addition of cloud seeders to our local mountains.
Last year, conservation group Save Red Rock raised tens of thousands of dollars to buy and install cloud seeders. They are generators perched atop mountains with cannons that shoot silver iodide, the dust that creates ice, into passing clouds.
“We have two cloud seeders on top of the spring ridges. One is in Lovell Canyon and it will mainly hit Mt Charleston and Lee Canyon and then we have a second one in Mt Potos and it is mainly to hit Red Rock Canyon,” Pauline van Betten, Land and Water Consultant for Rescue Red Rock shared. After 20 years of drought, Van Betten told FOX5 last year how Red Rock Canyon is suffering, especially the plants and animals. Now things are very different in Red Rock, where flooding was reported last week. became
“There’s water in the rivers and the Joshua trees have really come back,” van Betten said. Save Red Rock couldn’t be happier with the results of the first winter of cloud seeding.
“It’s just been fantastic. We’ve been seeding all winter. All these storms have been seeding… The cloud seeders have produced 6,000 acre feet of water… so that’s 18,000 homes of water in a year,” van Betten said. . However, the water crisis in southern Nevada is far from over and cloud seeding will continue.
“We don’t know what the coming years will bring,” van Betten said.
This legislative session, Senate Bill 99 authorizes $1.2 million over the next two years for a state cloud seed program.
The federal government announced it is also investing $2.4 million in cloud seeding. On Thursday, the Southern Nevada Water Authority voted to accept a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to fund cloud seeding in other western states whose rivers flow into Lake Mead.
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