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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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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.


Yes, you can drink the tap water!

Episode 25 - May 17, 2022

How do you know your tap water is safe to drink? Carolyn Faircloth, the Water Quality Laboratory Manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), shares how she and her team test and monitor our drinking water to ensure high-quality water is delivered to your home or business every day.


AH HA! How the pandemic led to new insights for wastewater surveillance

Episode 24 - April 26, 2022

Scientists have been using sewage to track COVID-19 in the community throughout the pandemic, and even now as the virus enters the endemic stage. Using wastewater surveillance helps scientists determine the prevalence of the virus and what variants are present in the Las Vegas Valley. We talk with Dr. Dan Gerrity, Principal Research Laboratory Scientist for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and Dr. Edwin Oh, UNLV Associate Professor of Neurogenetics and Precision Medicine Lab, about how their wastewater surveillance research helped health professionals and elected officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two researchers share their "ah ha!" moments and the future of wastewater surveillance.


SPRING ALIVE! Garden and landscape tips from Star Nursery's Dr. Q and Joey Lynn Watt

Episode 23 - March 31, 2022

Spring is the season for renewal, and the time when many of us get our hands dirty and spruce up our yards. On this episode, we talk with Star Nursery experts Dr. Q and Joey Lynn Watt about how to irrigate, prune, fertilize and get rid of garden pests.


Southern Nevada is planning for a warmer, drier future

Episode 22 - March 9, 2022

The permanent aridification of the Colorado River—the source of 90 percent of Southern Nevada's water supply—means much less water will flow into Lake Mead in the future. The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) recently updated its Water Resource Plan to address aridification and other major impacts to the Las Vegas Valley water supply. We talk with Zane Marshall, SNWA Director of Water Resources, about what this means for Southern Nevada and how everyone in the community can help protect our water supply.


HERBA NON GRATA: Groundbreaking law requires businesses replace decorative grass

Episode 21 - Feb. 10, 2022

Shortage conditions on the Colorado River have reduced Southern Nevada’s water supply by about 7 billion gallons. While homeowners have worked hard to conserve water and remove water-thirsty grass, the business community is lagging behind in this effort. We talk with JC Davis, Enterprise Conservation Manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, about a new law requiring businesses, HOAs and multifamily properties to stop irrigating nonfunctional turf with Colorado River water by the end of 2026.


FROM LAKE TO TAP: Delivering water through a world-class system

Episode 20 - Jan. 27, 2022

Southern Nevada’s water system operates 24 hours a day, every day, treating and delivering water that is pumped through nearly 4,000 feet of elevation changes in order to serve more than 2 million people in the Las Vegas Valley. The Water Authority pulls water from deep below Lake Mead, treats it, and pumps it to the member agencies, which then deliver it to homes and businesses. Join our hosts Bronson Mack and Crystal Zuelke as they talk with Director of Operations Ken Albright and find out why you can count on water coming out of your tap.