For folks in Nevada and Utah, urban sprawl is one of the greatest threats to the region’s water supply. Many will recall the rapid growth of Las Vegas in the early 2000s. That population hike was one of the fallacies driving the need for the Las Vegas Pipeline.
In recent years, however, the SNWA has worked diligently to reduce Colorado River consumption and water waste while working to educate the public and invest in reasonable means to protect, augment and deliver water to existing residents.
These efforts have eliminated a need for a project like the pipeline, but we must be cautious about proposals inviting 1-2 million more people into places like Las Vegas or St. George.
SNWA’s work is an example to follow – Utah water managers aren’t even in the same league. But if other governments and business entitles don’t follow the lead, they will make life difficult for water managers 50 to 100 years from now along the Colorado River Basin.
GBWN Executive Director Kyle Roerink recently wrote an op-ed for the Las Vegas Sun about the need to be cautious in the years to come. Divisive legislation to expand the footprint of metro areas across Nevada and projects like the Lake Powell Pipeline should give us all pause.
How confident can we be about our future water supplies?
After shelfing the pipeline, it’s clear SNWA isn’t pretending like it’s the year 2000. Other agencies should follow suit.