Las Vegas Water Use Essay

Submitted By slukenda17
Words: 1076
Pages: 5

Shane Lukenda
Dr. Jantz
4/18/10
Urban Environmental Paper Las Vegas Water Use There have been many urban environmental issues spread across the world throughout the years. Las Vegas water usage is one of the many urban environmental problems that occur in the United States today. Las Vegas has been experiencing water problems for many years now and if the climate trends continue to stay the same the largest water source in Las Vegas could potentially dry out. This water source contributes to most of the casino’s and residents living in Las Vegas. Many different researchers are trying to find ways to prevent this from happening but this certain situation may be one that research and science cannot fix. Researchers predict that Las Vegas’ water source could possibly dry out by 2021 or earlier. “Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake or reservoir in the U.S., and is formed by the waters of the Colorado River held back by the Hoover Dam. The lake provides 90% of the water used by Las Vegas’ residents and casinos” (www.enivornmentalgraffiti.com). Lake Mead is the whole reason why Las Vegas can have continuous running water for the people and businesses to live on and is now at 50 percent capacity due to droughts and increased water demand for agriculture. This is obviously a huge problem for the residents living in Las Vegas because if Lake Mead continues to loose its water then the inevitable will happen and it will eventually dry out. The American West’s water reserves have been seeing many problems over the years with droughts and Las Vegas will experience a very catastrophic drought if this problem does not get fixed. Global warming is a major factor in the environmental issues currently going on in Las Vegas, but the demand by the people and businesses is also causing Lake Mead to become smaller and smaller as the years pass. The hotels inside of Las Vegas’ casinos contribute to a major waste of water by having so many enormous pools and fountains. This unnecessary amount of water could be used elsewhere instead of being used to attract and please tourists and residents. “The study by two researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego calculates a 10 percent chance that Lake Mead will run dry in six years and a 50 percent probability it will be gone by 2021 absent other changes” (www.enn.com). Researchers are becoming very uneasy about how much water Lake Mead is losing and how little time Las Vegas has to fix this problem. Tim Barnett, a marine research physicist, expresses his feelings in an interview about the situation going on in Las Vegas and says, “We had not expected the problem to be so severe and so up close to us in time" (www.enn.com). He claims that a major change in the depletion of the water is because people are taking to much water then they can afford to without putting any back into the reserve. Researchers are trying to figure out a way to stop this from happening but have not been able to come up with the right solution and time is running out. The Southern Nevada Water Authority, released statements saying that unless they act quickly a lot of people in the Las Vegas Valley will have no water to drink. “SNWA data shows drought conditions getting worse, not better forcing the general manager of the water authority to ask the board to spend more than $45 million to upgrade water pumps at Lake Mead” (www.8newsnow.com). Unfortunately this is going to cost the resident’s in the valley a great amount of money, but the general manager has no other option as of now. With these new pumps being attached to the second drinking water intake at the lake it could possibly be able to double the capacity to pump drinking water. If new pumps are not installed at Lake Mead immediately, then the water level will be dropped under the first drinking water intake cutting the drinking…