About Us

Las Vegas Water Defender, an affiliate of the Colorado Riverkeepers, part of the Waterkeeper Alliance, works to improve water conservation, increase sustainability measures and return our waterways to their natural state, serving as protectors of the Colorado River.

Tick Segerblom

Program Director, Las Vegas Water Defender

THE WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE

The Waterkeeper Alliance (WKA) is comprised of more than 350 on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect more than 100,000 miles of rivers, lakes and coastlines on six continents. The headquarters are in New York City. Robert Kennedy Jr. serves as the President of the Waterkeeper Alliance.

 

 

THE COLORADO RIVERKEEPER

John Weisheit is the Colorado Riverkeeper, a licensed and voting member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. The headquarters are in Moab, Utah, of the Colorado Plateau. Moab is the county seat of Grand County, which hosts the Colorado River and its major tributary, the Green River.

 

 

THE COLORADO RIVERKEEPER AFFILIATES

  • Las Vegas Water Defender, Tick Segerblom; Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Upper Green River Network, Rica Fulton; Laramie, Wyoming
  • Green River Action Network, Lauren Wood; Salt Lake City, Utah

 

 

WHAT IS A WATERKEEPER AFFILIATE?

Waterkeeper Affiliates are provisionally licensed Waterkeeper organizations that represent a specific waterway. Waterkeeper Affiliates are associated with Waterkeeper Alliance as partners across the globe advocating for everyone’s right to swimmable, drinkable, and fishable water, while on a track to become fully licensed Waterkeeper organizations.

 

 

LAS VEGAS WATER DEFENDER (A Colorado Riverkeeper Affiliate)

Tick Segerblom is the Program Director of Las Vegas Water Defender. The Las Vegas Water Defender organization works to improve water conservation, increase sustainability measures and return our waterways to their natural state, serving as advocates and protectors of the Colorado River. Las Vegas Water Defender is a grassroots force to restore the Colorado River to a clean and healthy state for future generations. Las Vegas Water Defender, a Colorado Riverkeeper Affiliate, joins their sponsoring organization Living Rivers to empower a movement to instill a new ethic of achieving ecological restoration, balanced with meeting human needs.

JURISDICTION OF LAS VEGAS WATER DEFENDER

The jurisdictions are limited to the Colorado River watershed of southeast Nevada in the counties of Clark, Nye and Lincoln; the total square miles that grade toward the Colorado River is about 11,000. This watershed includes Great Basin National Park, National Conservation Areas, National Wilderness Areas, Gold Butte National Monument, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and federal and state wildlife refuges that protect critical habitat for endangered species. Various ranges in southern Nevada are managed by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest with elevations as high as 12,000 feet, such as Mt. Charleston of the Spring Mountain Range and visible from downtown Las Vegas.

STATE OF THE COLORADO RIVER

During the 19-year period 2000 to 2018, the unregulated inflow to Lake Powell, which is a good measure of hydrologic conditions in the Colorado River Basin, was above average in only 4 out of the past 19 years. The period 2000-2018 is the lowest 19-year period since the closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, with an average unregulated inflow of 8.54 maf, or 79 percent of the 30-year average. In water year 2018 unregulated inflow volume to Lake Powell was 4.6 maf (43 percent of average), the third driest year on record above 2002 and 1977. Under the current most probable forecast, the total water year 2019 unregulated inflow to Lake Powell is projected to be 7.6 maf (70 percent of average).

DROUGHT CONTINGENCY PLANNING

Since 2014, the seven states of the Colorado River Basin have been developing documents called Drought Contingency Planning (DCP). The final negotiations have yet to be concluded, but the expiration of the contract is firm and will expire at midnight January 1, 2026.

THE POSITION OF LAS VEGAS WATER DEFENDER

The position of Las Vegas Water Defender is the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) process is yet another distraction fo avoid long overdue conversations about best management practices for time-periods that extend well into the future.  This is especially true given the imperative of climate change which is dramatically impacting the west and its water resources.

1) The assumptions that negotiated the Colorado River Compact of 1922 are wrong and must be corrected.

2) The modeling assumptions for 2007 Interim Guidelines are wrong and must be corrected.

3) The participation by the states in regards to creating surplus water in Lake Mead and Lake Powell was been weak and ineffectual.

4) The wishful thinking that the reservoirs would recover during the time frame of Interim Guidelines is not a strategic tactic.

5) All proposed projects to divert more water from the Colorado River Basin will cease immediately. This includes projects to divert groundwater supplies.

6) The funds dedicated to these projects will be diverted to state and federal studies to create an agenda for the revision of the 1922 Colorado River Compact and the associated “Law of the River.”  To that end, the next compact must eliminate the artificial separation of upper and lower basin states and focus on water conservation and sustainability while pointing toward the goal of rewilding the Colorado River.

 

FRAMEWORK FOR CONSIDERATION:

1) Dissolve the boundary between upper basin and lower basin. We will do this together and we will be inclusive.

2) Remove redundant, holdover storage dams, and Glen Canyon Dam is the obvious target.  Lake Powell must be drained immediately with the goal of destroying Glen Canyon Dam.  Conservation is the immediate, mid-term and long term goal!

3) Allow a portion of river to enter the Gulf of California for ecosystem services.

4) Begin the evacuation of sediment from Lake Mead.

5) Revise the Flood Control Act of 1944.

6) Enact The Lower Colorado River Protection Act (Grijalva, 2013) to improve water quality.

7) Change the name of the Las Vegas Valley Water District to the Las Vegas Valley Water Conservation District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority to the Water Conservation Board of Southern Nevada.

8) Prohibit the importation of water from Northern Nevada to Las Vegas.  Conservation is our mantra, we live in the desert and can’t change that fact.