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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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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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


SPEAKING FOR THE TREES: Star Nursery experts share tree tips for landscape upgrades

Episode 36 - March 6, 2023

Trees are an important part of our community and urban environment, especially as we face a hotter, drier future in Southern Nevada. To protect our water supply, many residents and business owners are replacing water-thirsty grass with water-smart landscapes, but the upgrade process can put trees in jeopardy. Star Nursery experts Dr. Q and Joey Lynn Watt talk about how to shield trees during a landscape conversion and best practices to keep the trees thriving after completing the upgrade.


AGGRESSIVE & PROGRESSIVE: New conservation measures to drive down water use

Episode 35 - Feb. 14, 2023

Necessity is the mother of invention, and a 20-year megadrought is the driving force behind several new aggressive water conservation measures in Southern Nevada. Doug Bennett, SNWA Conservation Manager, and JC Davis, Director of Customer Care & Field Services for the Las Vegas Valley Water District, talk about how you might be impacted by the new conservation initiatives and what you can do to drive down your water use.


WHAT’S YOUR GRASS WORTH? New water rates encourage high water users to cut back.

Episode 34 - Jan. 11, 2023

As Southern Nevada faces the second year of water reductions due to a federally-declared shortage on the Colorado River, water agencies are implementing new conservation measures and rate changes to drive down community water use. Water Smarts Podcast hosts Crystal Zuelke and Bronson Mack discuss two water rate changes that could mean significant increases for some customers if they don’t reduce their water use.


We don't need x-ray glasses to find problem spots

Episode 33 - Nov. 28, 2022

If you change the brake pads or tires on your vehicle before they fail, you're practicing good "asset management." The Southern Nevada Water Authority asset management program helps keep the Las Vegas Valley water system in top condition and operating smoothly. Doa Ross, Deputy General Manager Engineering, and Ryan Benner, Engineering Asset Manager, talk about how they work to avoid major main breaks on the Las Vegas Strip and throughout the valley, and how innovative technologies like remotely operated vehicles help pinpoint system weaknesses before catastrophe strikes.


SPECIAL: City Cast Las Vegas Water Cop Ride Along

Episode 32 - Nov. 7, 2022

Water Smarts Podcast host Bronson Mack recently took City Cast Las Vegas host Dayvid Figler on a water waste ride along. The two talked turkey about how to spot and stop water waste with the help of LVVWD water waste investigator Cameron Donnarumma. In this special edition, we’re featuring the podcast produced and originally published by City Cast Las Vegas, titled "A Water Cop Ride Along."


TOP OF THE CLASS: Why the school district is leaning in strong on water conservation

Episode 31 - Oct. 17, 2022

The Clark County School District (CCSD) is leading the way with its water-smart projects, including converting 24 athletic fields to synthetic turf and replacing grass with water-smart landscaping at 195 schools. Combined, these projects save nearly 400 million gallons of water each year. Hear how these projects will impact valley schools and how CCSD is leaning in strong on water conservation. Mark Campbell, CCSD Director of Sustainability, Energy & Environmental Services, and JC Davis, SNWA Enterprise Conservation Manager, share their insights.


Tapping the truth on Colorado River shortage and its impacts to Nevada

Episode 30 - Sept. 19, 2022

How will additional water cuts under tier 2 shortage conditions impact Southern Nevada's water supply next year? Why can't we just cut off the water to other Colorado River users? How can our community continue to grow and thrive with its limited water supply? And, just who does use the most water in Southern Nevada? Colby Pellegrino, the SNWA Deputy General Manager of Water Resources, taps the truth on shortage, new development, and other Colorado River water users.


GET REAL: Campaigns that make you laugh, gasp and turn down your watering clock

Episode 29 - Sept. 8, 2022

From a well-placed kick by "Mrs. Nuttington" to the body-checks by former Vegas Golden Knights hockey player Ryan Reaves, the public outreach campaigns by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and its ad agency have made people laugh, gasp and save water. SNWA's Beth Moore gives the scoop on how these successful campaigns are created and the challenge of reaching the entire Las Vegas Valley on a limited budget. She also dishes fun, behind-the-scenes details about some of the more popular ads.


SPECIAL: Hey Hey Ho Ho, Your Ornamental Grass Has To Go

Episode 28 - Aug. 23, 2022

In this special Water Smarts Podcast, we feature an interview by Dayvid Figler of the City Cast Las Vegas Podcast with JC Davis, Enterprise Conservation Manager at the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Dayvid and JC talk about a new law, AB356, that was passed last year in response to our ever-worsening drought. The law will prohibit use of Colorado River water to irrigate decorative grass at businesses by the end of 2026. JC breaks down what the new law mandates, the difference between "functional" and "nonfunctional turf," and why this law is so important. You can find the City Cast Las Vegas podcasts at or on your favorite podcast app. Follow them on Twitter @CityCastVegas.


EXECUTIVE ROUND TABLE: Colorado River shortages and impacts to Southern Nevada

Episode 27 - July 26, 2022

A permanent aridification of the Colorado River due to climate change means those sharing the river also will have to share the pain of shortage reductions as less water flows from the Colorado River into lakes Powell and Mead. Southern Nevada relies on the river for 90 percent of its water supply yet is uniquely positioned to weather the reductions due to investments in infrastructure and the success of its conservation efforts. The Southern Nevada Water Authority Executive Team discusses current conditions, expected shortages and how the community can continue to grow despite the dire conditions facing the Colorado River. Featured guests include General Manager John Entsminger, Deputy General Managers Colby Pellegrino and Dave Johnson, and Legal Counsel Greg Walch.


HOT! HOT! HOT! Water-smart tips to help your landscape survive the summer

Episode 26 - July 11, 2022

Lake Mead's water levels are at historic lows and the Colorado River is suffering from a decades-long megadrought, resulting in federal shortage declarations that have reduced Southern Nevada's water supply. Since residential landscape irrigation consumes the majority of the Las Vegas Valley's water, watering smart has never been more important. Doug Bennett, the Conservation Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, shares tips to help residents set their irrigation systems so that their landscapes survive and thrive during our harsh desert summer.