Bet : Tearing Out Nonfunctional Grass
Grass has been a major focus for conservation efforts in Las Vegas especially grass that tends to be nonfunctional, or is merely ornamental, on medians, in front of commercial buildings and even in front yards.
Since April, the Las Vegas Valley Water District has banned grass and spray-irrigation systems at all new properties. Schools, parks and cemeteries are exempt. Single-family homes built after 2003 are prohibited from having grass in front yards and limited on how much they can have in side and back yards.
We have removed more than 200 million square feet of grass from this valley, but theres still about that much grass that remains, Mack said.
While getting rid of grass has been more widely embraced by homeowners, businesses have been slower to adapt. However, in 2021 the Nevada legislature passed a law that bans irrigating nonfunctional grass with water from the Colorado River.
SNWA estimates the grass law will ultimately save 10% of its total water supply.
Thats more water than is consumed by the entire Las Vegas Strip, Mack said, explaining that it takes 73 gallons of water per square foot every year to keep grass alive in the Mojave Desert. But drip-irrigated and drought-tolerant landscaping only requires 18 gallons per square foot a year.
Watering grass is the least efficient way we can use water, Mack said.
Las Vegas Water Supply
Las Vegas gets about ten percent of its water supply from groundwater sources. This means that one tenth of the citys water comes from natural sources underneath the surface of the earth. This proportion is so small, of course, because the Las Vegas valley is located in a desert, which is characteristically known for having extremely dry air and soil.
The majority of Las Vegas water comes from Lake Mead which is fed by the Colorado River. Las Vegas receives billions of gallons of water from the Colorado River, but it is not the only city that is serviced by the long and expansive river. In fact, Colorado River water supplies seven states and many western cities in this region of the country, meaning that its use as a resource is heavily governed and regulated.
Bet : Reclaiming All Indoor Water For Reuse
Most of the Water Authoritys conservation efforts focus on outdoor water. But indoor water can be recycled.
Water that we used indoors all gets reclaimed, Mack said. We treat that water to clean water standards, then return it to Lake Mead, our primary water source. Every gallon that we return to Lake Mead allows us to take another gallon out of the lake without counting against our limited water allocation.
According to the Water Authority, only 10% of its water comes from local groundwater. The other 90% comes from the Colorado Rivers Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the country, which continues to fall to record lows. In April, the Water Authority had to decommission one of the original intake valves in the lake because the water level had fallen so low.
And in August, the federal government enacted a Tier 2 shortage, which will limit the amount of water southern Nevada can pull from Lake Mead beginning in January by about 8.1 billion gallons a year.
Yet, on the Las Vegas Strip, glasses of water may still be served to restaurant customers since all that water will be recycled.
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How New Mexicos Largest Wildfire Set Off A Drinking Water Crisis
In a community ravaged by fire, floods and contaminated drinking water, residents wonder, Whats next? And who will pick up the bill?
Part of the burn scar from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northern New Mexico.Credit…Adria Malcolm for The New York Times
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Simon Romero is a national correspondent based in Albuquerque who grew up in northern New Mexico. He reported on the wildfire that swept the region this spring, and returned for this update.
Water Scarcitylas Vegas Is Running Out Of Water Thats Why There Are Strict Rules Now
The famous desert city of Las Vegas is in danger of running out of water
Las Vegas, the casino city in the middle of a desert, is slowly running out of water. Rules and laws are designed to curb the loss of the most valuable resource.
Las Vegas is considered the dazzling oasis in Nevadas dust-dry desert: In addition to casinos, in which visitors can gamble away or double their fortune day and night, world-famous entertainment shows and a brightly lit main street and lifeline of the city, there are also other curiosities such as extensive golf courses or a replica of Venetian canals with gondoliers for the Las Vegas experience. Anyone who hears the saying What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas quickly realizes that this is a city of extremes in many ways. Because this sparkling island doesnt fit into its surroundings at all and is now paying the price for having built a world of its own in the middle of a desert. In addition to heat waves and temperatures of around 47 degrees Celsius in July, the gambling paradise has long been fighting for every drop of its most valuable resource: water.
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Las Vegas Relies On The Colorado River
From the Colorado River, the water reaches man-made Lake Mead via Lake Powell and is sucked through Las Vegas Valleys straws on a journey that carries the water thousands of miles through treatment facilities on a cyclical mission.
It returns to Lake Mead by way of the Las Vegas Wash and finally enters the water system to get to Sin Citys taps.
When its flushed back into the sewer system, it resumes its journey from the treatment plant to wash to the lake and back again into homes and businesses.
According to a state official, it has reached a critical mass of its water supply, leaving the state to figure out how it will supply enough water for its growing population.
Las Vegas Becomes Unlikely Model For Water Conservation
Millions in Southern California are facing new water restrictions due to a megadrought crippling the Southwest, but across the border in Nevada they’ve been conserving water for years. Now, officials in Las Vegas are going a step further by ripping out all the water-guzzling grass that serves no real purpose.
“For having a reputation as a city of excess, we’re actually one of the most water-efficient cities in the world,” said John Entsminger, the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
He showed CBS News one of Las Vegas’ 54 pump stations, which deliver water from the nation’s largest reservoir Lake Mead on the Colorado River.
“Everything we use indoors is recycled. If it hits a drain in Las Vegas, we clean it. We put it back in Lake Mead,” Entsminger said. “You could literally leave every faucet, every shower running in every hotel room, and it won’t consume any more water.”
In the past two decades, Lake Mead has dropped a startling 180 feet due to a the ongoing megadrought, made worse by climate change and the rapid growth of cities and agriculture in the Southwest. Southern Nevada, though, has beaten the odds by cutting its overall water use by 26% while also adding 750,000 people to its population since 2002.
It’s being torn out all over town, surprising some residents like Gail Greensteen.
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Current Past Students Of Master Of Arts In Global Security Gathered For Reception In Nation’s Capital
In September, the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University hosted its first Washington, D.C., reception for current students, alumni and faculty of the ASU Online Master of Arts in global security program.
“From day one, our MA in global security has emphasized networking and creating new career opportunities not just for our students, but also for our alums, said Magda Hinojosa, professor and director of the School of Politics and Global Studies. Peter Bergen , ASU professor of practice, talking with students and alumni of the global security master’s program.
I was humbled to be in the room with individuals who had incredible life stories, said Michael Lapadot, a current global security student and service member in the U.S. Army. I had never met anyone at the reception in person before, but as soon as I arrived, I felt that I was meeting with teammates.
This event, which took place at ASU’s Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center, is part of a broader effort to connect students, alumni and faculty of the online program based on areas around the world they are located.
Washington, D.C., is the center of activity in global security and home to our largest concentration of alumni outside Arizona, so there are tremendous opportunities in the area for our students to network, learn and advance their careers, said Thomas Just, a lecturer with the School of Politics and Global Studies.
Las Vegas Has About 30 Days Left Of Clean Water
Tommy Lopez | KOB
LAS VEGAS, N.M. After the massive and destructive Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire, northern New Mexico has experience damaging and deadly flooding and now debris from that fire has contaminated much of the water.
The amount of clean water in Las Vegas, New Mexico is getting critically low.
On Thursday, people were loading up on bottled water at stores, worried that the supply may run out. City leaders said they have just more than 30 days left of clean water. Theyre asking people to limit themselves to using 44 gallons per person, per day. The average person typically uses more than twice that amount.
Some businesses, like car washes, have had to close. Restaurants are serving food on paper plates to avoid cleaning dishes. City officials said they may be dealing with this problem for years.
Its very concerning to not only our governing body, myself, and our residents, a lot of people are on edge because that number is concerning, said Leo Maestas, the Las Vegas city manager. Weve given water to the community to stay off the tap for drinking, so we can keep that water in a system for a longer period of time.
The city has been working on a temporary solution a way to treat water at nearby Storrie Lake so it can add about two months worth of water. The system to do that may be up and running as soon as two weeks from now. Officials are expecting the federal government to foot the bill.
More long-term solutions could take years to set up.
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How Much Water Do Vegas Casinos Use
Despite the images of lavish casinohotel pools along the Strip, water-guzzling tourists living an oasis lifestyleatop a desert landscape and that famous Bellagio fountain, the majority ofwater actually escapes down the citys plug-holes.
Yep, a whopping 60 percent of Vegasswater is used by households and residents.
Its true that the gaming and gamblingindustry in Sin City still sucks up plenty of H2O itself though, with aroundthree billion gallons a year required to power its casinos, water cannons andall.
But 54 percent of that water is actually just used in hotel rooms, rather than the casinos themselves. And, overall, this still only accounts for 7.6 percent of Vegass total water usage.
So casinos have taken a lot of theheat on water consumption over the years and perhaps without much cause.
Many large casino corporationsactually take the initiative with sustainability projects and lead the way whenit comes to reducing water consumption, too.
Among the major casinos, such as MGM properties, water recycling rates are often said to be as high as 40 percent. While a lack of green spaces on the Strip, as well as a focus on desert plants for decor and low-flow shower heads in rooms, have helped some of the industrys most famous names set and achieve impressive water targets.
Is Las Vegas Doing Enough To Combat Water Shortage
The Las Vegas water shortage in 2021 revealed the growing threats of water security as the planet continues to warm. The city and the larger county have successfully implemented a number of water conservation measures, but are they enough to tackle the dwindling water levels from Lake Mead?
Every year , Las Vegas attracts a staggering 42.5 million tourists for a taste of its glittering casinos, luxury resorts, and the miniature replica of Paris Eiffel Tower. But behind its glamorous facade, the city is confronted with a growing myriad of issues amid a worsening climate crisis.
Situated within a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas has been hit hard by rapidly rising temperatures, where temperatures have soared up to 46.6C in June 2021, smashing previous records. During the same summer, Clark County, in which Las Vegas is located, recorded 124 heat-related deaths. Average hot weather has also been on the rise while annual precipitation has plummeted down to just 21 days with only four inches . Though when rainfall does occur, it can be torrential and often triggers highly destructive flash floods.
Just 160km west of the city is the notorious Death Valley national park, one of the hottest and driest places in the country, which logged an unprecedented 54.4C in 2020. In fact, the US Climate Data says Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the US, soaring nearly 3.3C on average since 1970.
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Read More About Extreme Weather
- Reversing Course: The Netherlands, a country long shaped by its overabundance of water, is suddenly confronting drought. Its population is hoping to engineer its way to safety.
- Drying Out: The Mississippi River, known for its vast reach and powerful currents, has withered to levels not seen in decades, choking shipping lanes and endangering drinking water supplies.
- Smoke Pollution: Smoke from wildfires has worsened over the past decade, potentially reversing decades of improvements in Western air quality made under the Clean Air Act, according to new research.
At one point this month, Las Vegas, a hub for predominantly Hispanic rural communities in one of the nations poorest states, had only about 20 days of fresh water left. Authorities scrambled for fixes while introducing measures to curb water consumption, forcing usage down to about 44 gallons per person per day about a third of what the town used before the fire.
For a place that had been shaping itself into a tourist destination, with a new French-owned contemporary art center and the reopening of an iconic Harvey House hotel, the aftershock of the water crisis has been unsettling.
To conserve, Mr. Sandovals restaurant, the Skillet, shifted to serving dishes like brisket tacos and green chile fries on paper plates, accompanied by disposable utensils.
Before the water crisis, many people in Las Vegas and nearby communities were already furious at the federal government for starting the fire.
Victor Joecks: Las Vegas Isnt Running Out Of Water
Theres no need to stress about Las Vegas water supply running out.
Theres no need to stress about Las Vegas running out of water.
This month, Emerson College released a poll of Nevadans. It asked respondents about the most important issue facing Nevada. Unsurprisingly, the economy topped the list at 33.5 percent. The second issue might surprise you. It was Nevadas water supply, at 16.3 percent.
Its not hard to find folks worried about water. Just read the letters to the editor. The Great Basin Water Network cited the diminishing Colorado River to justify opposing more development in Clark County. One reader emailed me recently, calling the dwindling water supply a potential disaster.
You get the impression that some people think theyll wake up one day, turn the faucet on and find theres no water left.
That isnt going to happen. Heres why.
First, there is a real water shortage at Lake Mead. The bathtub ring makes that obvious. Last year, the federal government announced the first official water shortage declaration at the reservoir. That led to a 7 percent reduction in Southern Nevadas water allocation.
Southern Nevada receives 300,000 acre feet from Lake Mead. By comparison, California gets 4.4 million and Arizona 2.8 million. An acre-foot provides approximately enough water for two Las Vegas homes for 16 months. The water shortage declaration cut our allotment by 21,000 acre-feet.
That does sound like a crisis, but its not the whole story.
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Bet : Keeping The Vegas Strip Water
As for the Strip, the economic engine of southern Nevada, Mack said the regions resort, casino and hotel sector is not as water-wasteful as it seems, despite its reputation for excess.
Mack said it only uses 5% of the communitys total water supply, while also making up its largest employment base, supporting some 40 million visitors a year.
There are also limitations on swimming pool size for the resorts based on the number of hotel rooms and guests they serve.
We could turn on every shower and every sink in every hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip, and it wouldnt increase the amount of water we deplete from the Colorado River because all of that gets cycled back through our wastewater system, gets treated and returned to Lake Mead, Mack explained.
As for the Las Vegas strips iconic fountains? They lose a lot of water to evaporation. According to the Water Authority, the fountain at the Bellagio is fed from a privately owned groundwater well and doesnt use water from the Colorado River. But it estimates those outdoor water features can lose 48 gallons of water per square foot a year to evaporation in a place where every drop counts.
The canals in the Venetian Resort recirculate their water, which does come from Colorado River. However, since the water is used indoors it can be reclaimed, Mack said.