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Water Shortages?

Discussion in 'Living in Sin (City that is)' started by ilovekeno, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. ilovekeno

    ilovekeno Tourist

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    Are there any shortages or restrictions on water? The levels at Hoover Dam and Lake Las Vegas seem to have dropped a lot over the last few years. Is this a concern to the people living in and around Vegas?
     
  2. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    it is filled by the colorado river. i doubt its running dry anytime soon.

    it is the snow melt from the high mountains to north.

    The colorado river is shared by numerous places and lake mead is just one of them. they might just be at their alloted amount of water so someone else can have their share.

    There are a million calculations that go into determining who gets how much water.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Food for thought:

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/topics/water/

    http://www.8newsnow.com/story/6943263/clock-is-ticking-on-las-vegas-water-supply

    http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2011/aug/01/troubled-waters/

    W/o researching the exact numbers but most of the water in the Colorado River comes from the snowmelt in the Rockies and for more than a decade that has sadly declined. Rain in Las Vegas has almost no affect on the lake levels in Lake Mead or the Vegas water supply. You are right to be concerned.
     
    Christmas
  4. BreakEven

    BreakEven Low-Roller

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    Americans don't like restrictions imposed on them (esp. when they are by the government). By the time they're forced upon everyone, it'll probably be too late.

    The right thing for all of us to do is always act like there are water restrictions and use as little as possible.

    You can do your part by bathing in the Bellagion fountains in the early morning hours.
     
    Only 2nd trip for year :(
  5. ilovekeno

    ilovekeno Tourist

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    Wow...after some research and the links sent here, I won't be purchasing in Nevada. Amazing they haven't starting some public water saving measures. I drive around in a dirty car, quick showers, plants get the dog's left over nasty water...I try to do my part. I might feel guilty on my next trip to Vegas in May. We hang up our towels and never have the sheets change but that isn't enough after reading the information.
     
  6. bswim

    bswim High-Roller

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    Rockies have had less snowfall but here in the NW the mountains have been doing pretty good. They were just closing down the main East/West pass last week due to snowfall and avalanches.
    Things change back and forth over time........

    It wouldn't surprise me to see some shortages in the future though. That's a ton of people, toilets, showers, swimming pools and water shows in the "desert"
     
  7. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    They do have outdoor use restrictions.

    https://www.lvvwd.com/conservation/drought_watering_schedule.html

    And you can report violators anonymously.

    http://www.lvvwd.com/apps/ic/water_waste/water_waste.cfml

    We used to walk about 4 miles with the dog every morning and if I saw a day violation or excess watering, meaning running down the sidewalk into the curb, I reported the house. Some of the biggest offenders, or they used to be 3 years ago, were the big casino owners and their lush lawns. Wynn was one and so was Maloof (sp). They were constantly being fined, but a $10,000 fine was peanuts to them.

    Homeowners didn't get that size fine, but they did get fined after X number of violations. I thought we were going to live in Vegas a long time and felt a responsibly to report water waste.

    And before somebody starts...yes we did pick up the dog poop.:poke:
     
    Christmas
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    The Green is nearly as important as the Grand/Colorado as far as an input source for the "Colorado River," so while snowpack is snowpack, Utah and Wyoming are are nearly as important as the upper-stem Colorado.

    Long story short, for the OP, when the waters of the Colorado were divided among the states, two important things happened -- Nevada was allotted effectively none and all the calculations were based on stream flows that were OVERestimated by 50 percent. The river compact is one of the most litigated and court-ruled-upon things in the states, and at this point, the "rules" are pretty much inviolate. When we face a drought of truly historic, let alone geologic-term, proportion, whatever "annoyances" people feel over being told not to plant turf grass will be simply laughable.

    Nearly 80 percent of basin water goes to agriculture.
     
  9. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Amen Ken. You nailed it.
     
  10. ilovekeno

    ilovekeno Tourist

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    We really need a "LIKE" button.
     
  11. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    I was looking at property in and around the Vegas strip since it had gotten "cheap" in recent years. I told a friend about my plan and he mentioned the water problem in Vegas.

    After doing a ton of research and realizing a long-term solution that will create an indefinite supply of water is almost certainly unattainable, I dropped the idea.

    Now, I'm just trying to enjoy Vegas while it lasts. It may be a modern ghost town in 20 years.
     
  12. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Vegas is not going to dry up and blow away. Or at least not without a herculean fight.

    The reality of water in the west lies somewhere between the climate-change-is-bunk deluders and the sky-is-falling millennialists. We HAVE the water, at least up until a true drought, the 100-year kind that likely dispersed the Ancestral Puebloans. As someone once noted of California's water "problem," it's a bit like a bald guy with a full beard -- great production, bad distribution.

    Sure, the miscalculations on the hydrology and the then-unforeseen environmental fallout still are on the table. But the system can sustain; we're too far down the path to question the sanity of building megalopolises in the desert.

    As seen when AZ started asserting its allotment with the CAP, and as we try -- poorly try -- to honor our treaty obligations to Mexico, the water going down the proverbial pipeline didn't increase, we just mixed it up. (Water sharing, lining decades-old dirt canals and the like, crop adjustment.) When push comes to shove, we will decide that perhaps flood irrigating the Imperial Valley ain't such a good thing. And then we'll deal with higher food prices as more water flows to manufacturing and residential use.

    Now moving forward, yes, we need to admit the consequences of this system we've devised and adjust land-use and economic patterns accordingly. But for the millions and millions out this way already, well, that's just water over the dam.
     
  13. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    ken, you sound knowledgeable, but from everything I've read Lake Mead is the source for 90% of the water used in Vegas and can't sustain the area indefinitely. And, it definitely can't sustain any additional growth in the area (see the Linq and Resorts World).

    Building pipelines to other areas to source water means straining other water supplies. I highly doubt adjoining states will allow their water resources to be burdened by Las Vegas (the proposed plan) which leaves pumping water from within the state or a pipeline to the ocean (and desalinization) to sustain Las Vegas. That sounds more like science fiction than reality to me.

    How will Vegas handle restrictions on water usage in the future? It's hard to say at this point. But, I'm not willing to bet a large chunk of my change on a piece of property in Vegas where the odds are so poor for a 10-20 year outlook.
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Not really sure where there's disagreement here. Again, the bottom line is that Vegas is last in line, always has been, always will be. If the river -- Lake Mead is just one impoundment along the river, albeit the one that supplies Vegas -- is looked at like a big pool, CA is lawfully entitled to draw down with a fire hose, Arizona gets a garden hose, and Vegas gets a straw. That's called the Law of the River. The larger problem comes in because that pool ain't infinite, and we designed extraction schemes based on really bad projections years and years ago.

    There is nothing within the compact that says the three Lower Division states -- NV, AZ and CA -- can't reallocate their respective allotments (7.5 MAF total) between themselves, but where is the incentive? Why should Phoenix help Vegas at this point? That's why CA got busy working out new practices mostly in the Imperial Valley to offset the loss of the overage we've long taken when AZ turned on its spigot with the Central Arizona Project and the U.S. decided to send a slightly larger salty trickle down to Mexico. But that is where Nevada will have to turn to, likely first.

    Inter-basin transfers are all but unlawful out west, owing to the history of western development and the response of water law to that development; it's not like back east where riparian rights predominate, while we came up with something typically western -- meaning take it or lose it -- known as prior appropriation. And that's why the Compact exists.

    Vegas' "best" bet longer term seems to be to work out the $$$$ and legal/environmental hassles of tapping that aquifer to the north ... but like oil, that too eventually will run out even if it is generations and generations removed, and by then certainly we'll have a better technique than pump-and-deplete.

    But, again, my point is, the river can sustain current and projected future populations (out to some time) with what currently flows through, with our baby drought-ish fluctuations. Now when a real drought hits, and by that I mean a drought of historic or even worse geologic proportion as I said above, look out for everyone, not just Vegas. Conservation is important; why anyone has grass where it can't be sustained by normal rainfall is absurd, and that applies to where I live, too.

    But the BIG user (some would say abuser) of Colorado water is agriculture. And that's largely California. THAT is where water banking and other water-shifting practices will more fully come into play. Essentially, Nevada will pay AZ and CA not to do certain things with its water -- read agricultural practices changed -- so Vegas can drink it.

    I can think of a lot of reasons not to buy a house in Vegas. If I was planning to live to be 200 water would be at the top of that list.

    If you are interested in this subject, I suggest you get a copy of Marc Reisner's incisive polemic, "Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water." For a more scholarly treatment, Donald Worster's "Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity and Growth of the American West." For a more approachable, popular history read, as it relates to California, grab Norris Hundley's "The Great Thirst: Californians and Water."
     
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