About Western Water Notes:

Hello, and welcome to Western Water Notes, a newsletter featuring research, writing and original reporting about our relationship to water in the West. This newsletter is written by Daniel Rothberg, an independent environmental reporter based in Reno.

I write about water because I believe that everyone should have access to information about the forces and systems that shape our daily lives, often in invisible ways. We interact with water every day, whether it’s turning on the tap or buying products at the grocery store. But we often do not see where that water came from to start with.

With my journalism, I aim to provide transparency and accountability over decisions about how water is managed — as well as deep historical context about how we got to where we are today and detailed background about policies and future solutions.

My plan is to use this Substack to share thoughts, updates, notes and journalism about water in the West, with a particular focus on the Great Basin, Mojave and the eastern Sierra. Since I’m based in Reno, there will be a lot of Nevada water issues on here, but also thoughts about Western water more generally. I plan to look at not only at water issues but what ideas are being implemented to solve them in a series I’ve been calling Solution Notes. Finally, I spend a lot of time in archives, and I treasure old photos and ephemera that reveal clues about our past. From time to time, I plan to share that sort of thing here, along with photos from my own trips (see the Ruby Mountains above).

How to support this newsletter:

My goal is to write at least once a week, if not more often. All of my posts are free to all, but if you find my work valuable and want to support my work, please consider signing up for a monthly or yearly subscription. A monthly subscription is $5/month, and a yearly subscription is $50/year ($4.17 monthly). Becoming a free or paid Western Water Notes subscriber will ensure you get each new post sent straight to your inbox.

What I’m working on:

I’m an independent journalist based in Reno, Nev. and currently working on a book project about how water has been used (and overused) in the Great Basin. Starting in 2018, I worked as an environmental staff reporter for the Nevada Independent, a startup covering politics and policy statewide. There, I wrote about public land issues, mining and the energy transition. My environmental reporting has been published in the New York Times, Bloomberg, Sierra Magazine, the Las Vegas Sun and High Country News.

I am passionate about journalism, open government and access to public records. In 2021, I joined the Nevada Press Association board, most recently serving as president.

Don’t hesitate to reach out:

If you have ideas, feedback or suggestions for things you would like to see covered, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My email is danielrothbergwrites@gmail.com.

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Research and reporting on our relationship to water.


I'm an environmental journalist based in Reno, Nev. Interested in our relationship to water.