How Does Drought Affect My Water?

Feb 26, 2021

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Anyone familiar with the climate of Nevada is no stranger to drought. This year, Nevada is already experiencing some of the highest levels of drought in the past 20 years. During this challenging time, our commitment to deliver safe, reliable water and wastewater services remains our top priority.  

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) lists the different types of drought as meteorological drought, hydrological drought, agricultural drought, socioeconomic drought, and ecological drought.  

According to the University of Nevada, Reno, “Drought is influenced by several factors, including below-normal snow or rainfall, geography, temperature, soil moisture, water demand, and water management. As a result, drought can impact our communities and our environment in wide-ranging ways.”  

The Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) is currently anticipating the seasons snowpack to be significantly lower than normal. “But we still have March which, cross your fingers gives us 2-3 more storms like we have had earlier in the season,” said Bunny Bishop, the Chief of Water Planning and Drought Resiliency at the NDWR. 

“The best thing that a homeowner can do is really pay attention to the conservation efforts they can implement at home. Being aware of their water usage is the absolute best thing,” said Bishop. “Planning ahead by checking your system to make sure there are no leaks and utilize drought tolerant plants and zero-scaping is also important for homeowners to do.” 

Homeowners can assist in the management of the available water by taking advantage of GBWC’s conservation rebates. Join us in the effort to preserve and protect this precious resource. We are working to improve our water conservation program, and we welcome views and recommendations from interested customers.

Customers can view the GBWC conservation plan at Please reach out to with your feedback.  

GBWC’s water supplies are solely based on groundwater withdrawals. Unlike surface water, the groundwater supply is much more drought resistant than surface water. GBWC has no recorded reduction in the availability of groundwater in any of the GBWC Division’s wells during the three years period of drought. As such, no additional modeling or analyses were performed to specifically evaluate this condition outside of the restrictions described in the Water Conservation Plan. 

The primary goal of water conservation is to ensure that there is always sufficient water for essential public health and safety needs. The climate in Nevada is arid and subject to periodic droughts that can vary in duration. GBWC relies completely upon ground water (as opposed to surface water) to provide safe reliable drinking water to its customers. The impact of droughts can be particularly difficult to measure in the immediate. In fact, it can take several years or even thousands of years to realize the impact of a severe drought. Nonetheless, it is wise for us today to protect water resources for generations to come.