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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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Episodes

Making conservation easy - for businesses

Episode 9 - April 19, 2021

There are more than 5,000 acres of useless grass in Southern Nevada that only gets used when someone runs a lawn mower over it. And while residential property owners have stepped up and removed grass from their yards through the Water Smart Landscapes rebate, nearly 80 percent of that water-thirsty turf is on commercial properties. Patrick Watson, Conservation Programs Administrator with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), discusses why and how businesses should step up their conservation efforts, and the SNWA cash incentives and programs designed to make it easy for businesses, HOAs and multifamily properties. City of Henderson Conservation and Customer Care Supervisor Tina Chen also provides details about added financial incentives for business properties in Henderson.

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Making conservation easy - for residents

Episode 8 - March 25, 2021

Conservation is one of the most important actions Southern Nevadans can take to protect our limited water supply – particularly as we continue to weather a severe drought in the Colorado River basin. Toby Bickmore, Conservation Programs Administrator with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), shares watering tips and how to get cash incentives for saving water in the Las Vegas Valley.

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Poops don't lie - tracking a pandemic using waste water

Episode 7 - March 15, 2021

Every time Southern Nevadans flush the toilet, they’re helping scientists at the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWSA) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas study the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community. SNWA researchers Dan Gerrity and Katerina Papp talk about how they ensure the coronavirus is not in our drinking water supply, and how they can track a pandemic using raw sewage samples and wastewater surveillance on episode 7 of the Water Smarts podcast: “Poops don’t lie – Tracking a pandemic using wastewater.” As our community recovers from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, SNWA’s wastewater epidemiology studies can help serve as an early warning system for future virus outbreaks and other community health issues.

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Don't go with the flow - stop water waste

Episode 6 - March 1, 2021

Protecting Southern Nevada’s water resources by preventing and stopping water waste is all in a day’s work for Summer Ortiz and Perry Kaye from the Las Vegas Valley Water District’s water waste team. Summer and Perry share tips on how to prevent water waste, and how to help stop it around your neighborhood on episode 6 of the Water Smarts podcast: “Don’t go with the flow – stop water waste!” You can help protect our limited water supply by keeping water on your property, letting your neighbors know if they have an irrigation problem, and reporting water waste when you see it.

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Shoring up the Las Vegas Wash - where imploded Las Vegas casinos live on

Episode 5 - Feb. 8, 2021

Where do Las Vegas casinos go after they’re imploded? Several of them have found a second life as material for erosion-control structures that help shore up the banks of the Las Vegas Wash, a 12-mile natural channel that plays an important role in Southern Nevada’s watershed. The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee have worked for two decades to protect the Wash, which carries treated wastewater, stormwater and urban runoff to Lake Mead, from which Southern Nevada draws its drinking water. Water Smarts hosts Bronson Mack and Crystal Zuelke share their favorite memories about Las Vegas hotels that have found a new purpose after their destruction. They’re joined by Keiba Crear, Manager of SNWA Environmental Monitoring and Management, who talks about the efforts to protect and restore the Las Vegas Wash and its surrounding wetlands.

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Going deep to protect Southern Nevada's water supply

Episode 4 - Jan. 20, 2021

As Lake Mead water levels dropped due to drought, the two major water intakes pulling water from the lake for Southern Nevada were getting perilously close to the surface. Doa Ross, the deputy general manager of engineering for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), joins the Water Smarts podcast to talk about how SNWA engineered a solution and constructed a new intake deep below the lake’s surface and a pumping station to push water from the intake to the water treatment facilities located uphill. Working together, Intake No. 3 and the Low Lake Level Pumping Station ensure the Las Vegas Valley will have access to its water supply – even if lake levels drop so low, water cannot be drawn through Hoover Dam to produce power or deliver water to downstream users. Doa discusses the construction challenges of one of the largest drilling projects in the history of the United States, and how the two major construction projects give Southern Nevada an opportunity to partner with other states.

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Is Las Vegas running out of water?

Episode 3 - Jan. 5, 2021

Las Vegas went 240 consecutive days without rain in 2020, and even for a renowned desert city that relies on the drought-stricken Colorado River, that’s quite a dry spell. Colby Pellegrino, deputy general manager of resources for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), joins the Water Smarts podcast to discuss how Southern Nevada is weathering the 20-year drought on the Colorado River, which supplies 90 percent of the Las Vegas Valley’s water supply. SNWA is ensuring a sustainable future through conservation, innovation and infrastructure as well as by pursuing partnerships with other river-sharing states to ensure Southern Nevada has a reliable water supply.

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Can I drink the tap water?

Episode 2 - Dec. 16, 2020

The director of water treatment and quality for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) joins the Water Smart podcast to discuss treatment processes that protect our tap water supply. Greg Kodweis, director of water quality and treatment explains how ozonation kills viruses like COVID-19; why our tap water tastes like it does; why tap water is better than bottled water; and how SNWA invests in world-class research to advance water treatment in the United States. Most importantly, he explores the many reasons we can all be confident in the tap water that comes out of the faucets in almost every home and business in Southern Nevada.

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It's a desert out there - so conserve water

Episode 1 - Dec. 2, 2020

Southern Nevada has cut its water use by billions of gallons every year through one of the most successful water conservation programs in the world. Doug Bennett, conservation manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, talks with Water Smarts podcast hosts Bronson Mack and Crystal Zuelke about the community’s actions and the effort still needed to protect the Las Vegas Valley’s precious water resources. Doug shares why everybody has a stake in water conservation and how everyone can contribute.

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