Skip to comments.The race to stop Las Vegas from running dry
Posted on 07/01/2014 7:14:58 PM PDT by Lorianne
Outside Las Vegass Bellagio hotel tourists gasp in amazement as fountains shoot 500ft into the air, performing a spectacular dance in time to the music of Frank Sinatra.
Gondolas ferry honeymooners around canals modelled on those of Venice, Roman-themed swimming pools stretch for acres, and thousands of sprinklers keep golf courses lush in the middle of the desert.
But, as with many things in Sin City, the apparently endless supply of water is an illusion. Americas most decadent destination has been engaged in a potentially catastrophic gamble with nature and now, 14 years into a devastating drought, it is on the verge of losing it all.
The situation is as bad as you can imagine, said Tim Barnett, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Its just going to be screwed. And relatively quickly. Unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere Las Vegas is out of business. Yet theyre still building, which is stupid.
The crisis stems from the Las Vegass complete reliance on Lake Mead, Americas largest reservoir, which was created by the Hoover Dam in 1936 - after which it took six years to fill completely.
It is located 25 miles outside the city and supplies 90 per cent of its water. But over the last decade, as Las Vegass population has grown by 400,000 to two million, Lake Mead has slowly been drained of four trillion gallons of water and is now well under half full. Mr Barnett predicts it may be a dead pool that provides no water by about 2036.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Recycle sewer water.
That is step number one but people won’t accept it until they are really thirsty.
Small nuclear power plants powering desalinization units?
What’s Dingey Harry doing?
A network of pipelines from Lake Superior would solve all the West’s water needs. Hell, we ain’t using it, the water is just sitting there anyway and with the ice the past winter, there’s no drought worries.
We will see how brave you are nailed to the walls of Hoover Dam. Your Body facing West so you may watch your world die.
Pipelines are undafe and destroy the environment.
Vegas is such a worthless,disgusting cesspool that I couldn’t give a rat’s hindquarters if it dries up and blows away.
Exactly, we wouldn't want one to rupture and have water spill out.
You forgot your sarc tag. When people move to the desert, they should expect no water. Leave the Great Lakes water alone!!
And you are an expert on Vegas how?
Yes. Article says they've already started doing that. All the major hotels recycle shower and sink water. Article tries to compare Las Vegas to San Francisco, which is apples and oranges. Las Vegas using 219 gallons per person versus 49 gallons per person in SF. Las Vegas is a furnace, running over 100 to 110 on average while SF barely gets over 70 in summer; and most residents in SF have no lawns, ergo no irrigating landscaping. Sewage in SF is treated and cleaned before going into the ocean, but could be recycled if needed.
The solution is for the people to move out of the desert to a place hospitable to humans, like SF (hospitable except for politics). People weren't meant to live in the desert.
No sarcasm. Great Lakes' water to the West would be a win-win for all. CA still produces the majority of the nation's produce and Vegas is an entertainment and conference hub. Fresh water for the West, and they can pay border states an annual flat fee which will put money in states/provinces coffers.
When people move to the desert, they should expect no water. Leave the Great Lakes water alone!!
What do you think land is? All land has to start somewhere. You think the folks who settled CA and TX gave up because the land was too arid? It doesn't matter that Vegas was built in the desert, entrepreneurs made it work and there should be a solution for them. Desalination is too expensive and energy-consuming. Lake Superior is huge and nobody is using the water, not even for commercial usage (Superior is infamous for its storms) and barely for recreational usage. I have absolutely no objections for Great Lakes' water to be used out West.
Sierra Club, is that you?
Pay Canada the billions to pipe water from some of their limitless lakes. Vegas needs the water.... Canada could use the money and the reduction in mosquitoes and black flies.
dry? WWhdda you mean. Ya ran ourt of booose?
I guess that’s why I like living on Lake Michigan so much.
See if you can talk the Canadians into your proposal.
I’m in Vegas right now. It was well over 100 today, but somewhat humid, if you can believe it. When I looked eastward, you could see impressive clouds forming over Lake Mead. It was kinda sad seeing all that lake water just evaporating and never coming back.
They said that most of the water from the hotels is reused. Regardless, I would imagine that all the water once treated is reintroduced into the water shed.
Here in the great lakes region, we treat our sewer water and run off and reintroduce it into the lakes. The water in the Great Lakes water shed is protected by an international treaty with Canada that limits the amount of water that can be removed from the water shed.
The water in the Great Lakes water shed is protected against removal by a several international & inter state treaties. You can not pipe any water out of the water shed. There are even limits to how much of the water can be bottled and sold outside of the area.
Among them are: The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, an environmental treaty between the United States and Canada, signed 1972.
Great Lakes Charter, an environmental agreement between eight US states and two Canadian provinces, signed 1985
Great LakesSaint Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement, an environmental agreement between eight US states and two Canadian provinces, signed 2005.
Great Lakes Compact, an interstate compact among the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, first signed 2007.
All of these treaties saw long ago the likelihood that the growing South West and Southern states of the U.S. would become desperate for water resources and these treaties where designed specifically to eliminate any possibility that the water from the water shed would be removed for the aid of outside areas.
In other words. They are SOL at getting at the Great Lakes water. Of course at some point they will all get thirsty enough to simply move to where the water is.
if vegas goes down, dirty harry goes down.
It is kind of hard to drum any sympathy. I’m really trying too. This tab on my browser has been open for some time and I still can’t feel sorry for Mob Casinos and brothels.
Didn't think I needed one.
Sorry. It seemed series and hugh on first read.
You underestimate the cost of piping and non-stop pump stations.
A lesson learned is staring us in the face—Lake Mead! Such a diversion would also impact levels in the Great Lakes as now water would be diverted for use all along the way. Moreover, such a move encourages the same mistakes by now taking away any hesitation/barriers to moving people into areas they should not originally have been. So now what you do is simply postpone the problem until it affects the Great Lakes. Sorta like borrowing money off the backs of future generations—they get stuck with the bill.
In California's desperately dry Central Valley, water prices volume use (irrigation) have risen to $2,200 an acre-foot. An acre foot is 10,344 barrels. That makes "expensive" water 21¢/barrel.
Pipelines moving products like crude oil typically charge $5 for a distance half the way from Lake Superior to Las Vegas.
Gee. Build a city in a desert. Run out of water. Didn’t see that one.
It's coming back, just in New Mexico and Colorado. It will eventually find it's way back to Lake Mead.