We are bombarded by drought stories as we watch the Lake Mead bathtub ring grow and the lake reveal its grotesque secrets.

Only Mother Nature knows when this drought will end, if ever. This could be the new normal and if it is, we can’t conserve our way out of it. The Las Vegas water cartel — county commissioners who also sit on the water boards — is like a python. With each squeeze of another drop to conserve, the noose tightens even more.

And for what? To fuel additional development to fatten the tax base. I would take calls for water conservation more seriously if city and county officials would say to the next resort developer or housing tract builder, “Let’s tap the brakes on your proposal until we can figure out this Colorado River situation.”

For centuries, the river ran wild with snow melt-fueled spring runoff that damaged much downstream. We finally tamed it by building Hoover Dam and other facilities.

In the post-war 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower initiated the interstate highway system. His point person on the project, Gen. Lucius Clay, said, “It was evident we needed better highways. We needed them for safety. We needed them for defense purposes, if that should ever be necessary. And we needed them for the economy. Not just as a public works measure, but for future growth.”

The same is true of our water systems. We must interconnect water basins so those that flood regularly augment those that are increasingly dry.

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