Water is one of the building foundations of life on earth. Managing our water resources is crucial for our survival, especially for desert dwellers. Currently, water resources are gravely threatened, therefore it becomes the responsibility of everyone to ensure that there is enough water for future generations. Bronson Mack with the Southern Nevada Water Authority, states that
“this community was able to provide for me because of the efforts of the people who came before me. They set the stage for myself and millions of others to call Southern Nevada their home, and we need to continue to pay that forward.”
Where does our water come from and where does it end up?
Maintaining Las Vegas water structures requires a general understanding of where this water comes from. Around 10% of Nevada’s water comes from groundwater resources pumped from local aquifer underground. The remaining 90% comes from Lake Mead which is fed by the Colorado River. Lake Mead is an artificial lake located about 24 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. It is considered the largest reservoir in the US in terms of water capacity. The lake also supplies water for Arizona, California, and Nevada as well as parts of Mexico. It is estimated that around 20 million people including farmers are dependant on the water supplied by Lake Mead.
The water is drawn from the lake through intakes which are capable of pumping water from different depth for distribution in Southern Nevada. Water is later pumped from the intakes and transported to a treatment plant, where it is treated for safe drinking. After the water is distributed between hundreds of reservoirs and tanks scattered around the valley it finally arrives in homes and businesses.
“Nevada has some of the most advanced wastewater systems in the country,”
“You take a longer shower without guilt, knowing that water will be recycled and used again down the line.”
Over 99% of Nevada’s water is recycled, water used indoors is treated and sent back to Lake Mead for a new cycle. The state tries to reserve water by imposing watering restrictions outdoors as the water used outdoors cannot be recycled and exhausts Nevada’s water resources. Water conservation efforts have always been a priority to the community managing to decrease water use per capita by 38% even though the population of the state increased by 46%.
Outdoor Water Saving Tips
The first tip is to always stay updated and apply watering restrictions in your area. Following the seasonal water schedules help save a lot of water. For example, the Sunday watering restriction which was implemented in 2016 helped save 900 million gallons of water each year since then. Another great tip is removing nonfunctional grass, used primarily for aesthetic purpose. “
We want grass where it makes sense—in parks, schools, ball fields and other places that the community can use and enjoy it,”