Reno bars and breweries advocate for clean water

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Some Reno bars and breweries are coming together to advocate for the clean water needed to run their businesses.

"it's just like Mark Twain used to say back in the heyday of the Comstock," said Red Rock bar owner Kevin McGehee. "Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over."

They're taking the fight to federal lawmakers. The proposed federal budget calls for cuts to the EPA that could affect clean water programs in Nevada.

"It would affect flood abatement programs, general pollution programs, and it dramatically slashes the superfund program," said Lina Tanner of Tanner Law & Strategy group. "If we don't have that funding, the state has to make up for it."

That's a concern for businesses like Mill Street Still & Brew, a brewery and distillery that relies on a reliable supply of clean water.

"Water is 100% what we do, your completed beer is 95% water, vodka is about 60% water," said Andy Perkins, manager of Mill Street Still & Brew. "Any change in the water or water quality is going to affect us."

It's also a concern for other businesses on the block that are counting on the success of the brewery.

"One of the major reasons my building filled up so fast is the fact I could say, by the way, there's a state-of-the-art brewery and distillery opening up next door," said Luke Hoffman, owner of Atomik City Office Suites.

These businesses are bringing their message to this weekend's craft beer celebration.

"We're fighting for clean water because we know the importance of clean water in our industry," said Stephen Sawyers, Red Rock bar manager. "It's a crucial component not only for providing quality products, but its also important for marketing the region."

The Nevadafest Craft Beer Festival is set for Saturday at Wingfield Park in downtown Reno.