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Water Smarts podcast

From the banks of the Colorado River and Lake Mead to the homes and businesses of Southern Nevada, the Water Smarts podcast covers how we treat, deliver, use, protect and conserve water in the Las Vegas Valley.

Hosts Bronson Mack and Crystal Zuelke — along with experts from the Southern Nevada Water Authority who keep the water flowing — hope to make you a little smarter about the one thing that keeps us all connected — water.

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LATEST EPISODE: STRAIGHT FROM THE TAP - What’s in your drinking water?

Episode 52 - June 6, 2024

Ever wonder what's in your tap water? You can find test results of the drinking water supply in your water agency's Water Quality Report, which is published each summer. Carolyn Faircloth, the Water Quality Laboratory Manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), talks about the reports and addresses common questions about issues such as odor, taste and PFAS.


More episodes

TOILET OR TRASH? Why what you flush impacts our water cycle

Episode 51 - May 7, 2024

Because Southern Nevada recycles 100% of the water it uses indoors, it’s important you know what you shouldn’t flush or put down the drain. Nearly all our wastewater is highly treated and returned to Lake Mead. Michael Phillips with the Clark County Water Reclamation District talks about how wastewater plays an important role in our water cycle, and how you can help protect our water supply.

Listen to Episode 51

COOL TRENDS: How businesses can keep cool & stay water smart

Episode 50 - April 4, 2024

In Southern Nevada, grass is the largest consumer of the community’s water supply. But, did you know that the evaporative cooling systems chilling large buildings like hotels and schools are the second largest consumer of our water? The Southern Nevada Water Authority has implemented a moratorium on new evaporative cooling systems and offers rebates for properties to upgrade or replace existing systems to more water-efficient cooling options.

Listen to Episode 50

AB356: Time's running out to 86 nonfunctional grass by the end of '26

Episode 49 - March 6, 2024

The clock is ticking! AB356, the state law prohibiting use of Colorado River water to irrigate nonfunctional turf, takes effect in less than three years. Businesses, HOAs and multifamily properties need to replace grass with drip-irrigated plants and trees by Jan. 1, 2027. SNWA conservation expert Patrick Watson shares how SNWA can help property owners comply with the law and take advantage of the current Water Smarts Landscape rebate, which will DECREASE for nonfunctional grass projects at the end of this year.

Listen to Episode 49

REBATE RISING: Landscape rebate increased to $5 a sq ft for residential properties

Episode 48 - Feb. 13, 2024

It’s no secret the SNWA Water Smart Landscapes rebate helps property owners replace water-thirsty grass with drip-irrigated trees and plants. Now the cat’s out of the bag on the rebate’s increase to $5 per square foot. Learn how you can take advantage of this temporary increase from SNWA conservation expert Toby Bickmore.

Listen to Episode 48

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: LVVWD responds to tropical storm damage in Kyle Canyon

Episode 47 - Jan. 22, 2024

When Tropical Storm Hilary hit the Mount Charleston area, the resulting flood wiped away roads, downed power lines and washed out water mains. Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) crews were on the scene within hours of the storm assessing the damage and planning repairs to the badly damaged water system in the Kyle Canyon community. LVVWD's Aaron Gamble and Tom Burns talk about the emergency response efforts that included helping the fire department ferry residents to safety.

Listen to Episode 47

SURVIVING SHORTAGE: Southern Nevada relies on conservation, future water augmentation

Episode 46 - Nov. 29, 2023

As Southern Nevada enters its third year under federally-declared shortage conditions, the community is thriving and surviving despite the water cuts. Colby Pellegrino, SNWA Deputy General Manager of Resources, talks about Colorado River Basin conditions, negotiations around future water supplies, and how conservation is helping the community live under shortage conditions.

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SPECIAL: "What About Water?" interview with SNWA's John Entsminger

Episode 45 - Nov. 6, 2023

John Entsminger, Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager, recently joined Jeff Szabo, the CEO of the Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA), for a lively discussion about East Coast vs. West Coast water issues. Serving 1.2 million people in New York, SCWA is one of the largest groundwater suppliers in the nation. While the sources of water for the two agencies differ, one thing is clear: conservation is key to ensuring the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the communities served.

Listen to Episode 45

SMART GROWTH: Water Investment Rating tool helps measure water, economic impact of new businesses

Episode 44 - Oct. 25, 2023

Business leaders and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) have collaborated on a Water Investment Rating tool to evaluate new businesses looking to locate in the community. The two-phase rating system relies on quantitative and qualitative calculations to determine the water footprint of new businesses and the benefit to the community. Dave Johnson, SNWA Deputy General Manager of Operations, shares insights into why the rating system was developed and how it’s being implemented in Southern Nevada.

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SHADY SMART: SNWA spreads shade with new tree bonus, urban forest initiative

Episode 43 - Oct. 4, 2023

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) has two new initiatives to encourage more tree plantings and expand the community’s urban forest. Zane Marshall, SNWA’s Director of Water Resources, shares details about how property owners can get a cash incentive of $100 per new tree planted as part of the Water Smart Landscapes Rebate. Marshall also talks about the long-term benefit of a robust urban forest.

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TECH TALK: Technology helps water utilities respond to challenges

Episode 42 - Sept. 19, 2023

From finding leaks in 6,500 miles of buried pipeline to managing the complexities of regulatory compliance, technology is helping agencies like the Southern Nevada Water Authority solve the unique challenges facing the water industry. Dave Lynch, CEO of technology company Klir, and SNWA’s Deputy General Manager of Operations Dave Johnson talk tech and how the nonprofit WaterStart helps match innovators with water utilities looking for practical solutions.

Listen to Episode 42

REAL TIME RESULTS: LVVWD improves leak notifications to help customers quickly find & fix leaks

Episode 41 - Aug. 28, 2023

Leaks inside and outside your home can cause devastating damage and significantly increase your water bill. The Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) has improved its leak notification system so that customers get notified within days of a potential problem and before a high water bill may arrive. We talk with Dennis Demera, LVVWD Customer Care & Field Services Manager, about the new system and how customers can ensure they’re notified quickly of potential leaks on their property.

Listen to Episode 41

What's in your tap water?

Episode 40 - July 10, 2023

A-Z: We test for contaminants from Aluminum to Zinc to ensure a high quality of drinking water for the community. To get the details, review your water agency's Water Quality Report and listen to Carolyn Faircloth, the SNWA Water Quality Laboratory Manager, explain how your drinking water meets all state and federal standards.

Listen to Episode 40

H2O HEROES: The Power of Water Smart Plumbers

Episode 39 - May 24, 2023

If you have a plumbing problem, do you know how to find a qualified professional to fix it? The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) takes the heavy lifting out of your search with its new Water Smart Plumber program. Toby Bickmore with SNWA's Conservation team explains the new online resource, what plumbers must do to qualify for the program, and how you can benefit from this new, free resource.

Listen to Episode 39

Henderson parks go water smart

Episode 38 - May 10, 2023

City of Henderson (COH) is leading by example with its many water-saving projects. COH Municipal Forester Preston Goodman shares how replacing more than 2 million square feet of grass at 50 Henderson parks will save millions of gallons of water annually without impacting play areas.

Listen to Episode 38

HOAs & AB356: What your HOA should do to comply with state law prohibiting decorative grass

Episode 37 - March 29, 2023

There are more than 3,000 HOA communities in Southern Nevada, and all must be in compliance with a new Nevada law requiring decorative grass be replaced with water-smart options by the end of 2026. With HOA board turnover and multiple points of contact, how is the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) ensuring the HOAs are aware of and in compliance with the new law, which will save more than 5 billion gallons annually? Join SNWA's Patrick Watson and Hillery Francis to learn how they're reaching out to HOAs and why doggy bag stations just won't make the grade when it comes to water-smart landscape areas.

Listen to Episode 37