North Lake Tahoe Bonanza editorial: At Tahoe, drought doesn’t stop at the state line
News this week of worsening drought conditions in California and throughout the Sierra Nevada doesn’t come as a surprise — we’ve seen it coming for many months now.
As Gov. Jerry Brown’s staff begins to implement his executive order that imposes mandatory water restrictions across California — the first time something like this has ever been decreed in the Golden State’s history — we at Lake Tahoe are now faced with a harsh reality.
Make no mistake about it: The Western drought is the single-biggest issue that this entire region needs to rally around.
As our editor, Kevin MacMillan, foreshadowed in his column this week, there are many questions we must ask of government agencies, businesses, corporations, developers and residents regarding how they plan to conserve water during this unprecedented shortage, because the potential for devastating impacts this summer are very real.
We are one spark away from another Angora Fire that could char another 250 homes (or more); all it takes is one foolish timeshare property of poorly discarded trash to create a potential life-threatening human-bear encounter; our tourism economy stands to suffer greatly if most of our boat launches can’t open, if our river rafting companies go under and if our golf course fairways turn brown.
We have no fear-mongering agenda here by sharing these potentials. We’re not trying to sensationalize the issue. Rather, we are obligated to ensure our readers and communities understand the severity of the challenges that lie ahead, and we’re not going to sugarcoat the possible outcomes.
Of course, Gov. Brown’s mandate is, in fact, only for Californians, and as we’re all aware, half of the home-owners, residents and visitors to Lake Tahoe are on the Nevada side of the state line.
In our view, that means nothing when faced with this drastic action. Anyone who’s been to Cave Rock or Sand Harbor or Incline Beach — as well as Tahoe City, Martis Valley and Donner Lake — should be able to say, wholeheartedly, that the Nevada side of the lake and region is in just as much danger as California.
If there was ever a time for the entire region to come together and set aside its community differences, it’s now.
We urge all Tahoe-Truckee business owners, residents, visitors and governmental agencies, regardless of state and county lines, to follow Gov. Brown’s mandate and do everything in your power to conserve water.
Businesses should post water conservation notices throughout common areas. Residents should plaster bulletin boards with information on the drought and tips on how to save water. Government agencies should adopt water-saving resolutions.
The way the world turns, we very well could be out of the drought five years from now. So let’s all do our part to make the difference now so if we get there, we’ll be that much better off.
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