What we learned about the Colorado River crisis at the annual Las Vegas convention | SummitDaily.com

What we learned about the Colorado River crisis at the annual Las Vegas convention

Water experts from across the country met in Las Vegas this week for what’s billed as the “most consequential” gathering each year on the river

Conrad Swanson
The Denver Post
Drought, overconsumption, and climate change, are main factors dissipating the amount of Colorado River water that will reach the Sea of Cortez on its journey through the Colorado River Delta, seen here on Oct. 24, 2022, in Baja California, Mexico. The flight for aerial photography was provided by LightHawk.
RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

LAS VEGAS — First, the good news: Las Vegas hasn’t changed much in recent decades. You can still catch Wayne Newton in concert (though, he doesn’t look so great these days), you can still smoke indoors and you’ll still be harassed on the Strip by locals who want your money.

Okay, now the bad news: Las Vegas is in trouble and so is everybody else who lives in the Colorado River Basin, some 40 million people. The river is drying up and nothing state and federal officials have done so far is enough to stop an impending crash.

So far solutions are few and far between. This week some of the best minds looking for a way to avoid disaster flew into Las Vegas for the annual Colorado River Water Users Convention and for the most part, little new information emerged.

Water managers, politicians, scientists and business officials hashed and rehashed what most of them already knew. With the receptions, raffles and wine tastings throughout Caesar’s Palace, the occasion drew at least a few comparisons of the Roman emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

But there’s value in the camaraderie, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton said. There’s value in understanding that nobody’s alone in this crisis.

Read more on DenverPost.com.

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