AB356, perhaps the most high-profile water law change during the 2021 session, became a legislative vehicle for requiring the removal of decorative turf in Southern Nevada by 2027 if it is not in place at a single-family home. Brought forward by the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the measure aimed to address the significant amounts of Colorado River water going toward ornamental turf; that water is not recycled through the system.

The Division of Water Resources, led by the state engineer, backed legislation, SB155, to change the qualifications for the agency’s top position. Lawmakers, at the agency’s request, also considered creating new programs for water banking, proposed in AB354, and conservation credits, originally proposed in AB356. All three proposals died in committee.

Another bill, AB146, seeks to regulate water pollution from indirect sources, such as runoff. Indirect water pollution is a leading cause of water quality issues. A significantly amended version of the bill passed out of the Legislature.