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Las Vegas water conservation: It's a mirage.

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Doug thank you for sending over the link to the Las Vegas water article.  I totally agree with your comments - "the time to save water is not when the well is close to dry, it's before it is getting close to dry".  Wise words, I hope we take to heart everywhere in the west.

Yes Las Vegas has done some very interesting things to save water (i.e. outlawing new lawns, mandating fountains use recycled water, etc.), but still uses an astonishing amount of water (i.e. 199 GPCD). 

The entire west is in the midst of a multi-year drought that shows no sign of wanting to save us from our water wasting ways.  Las Vegas, Phoenix and South California are all in the bulls-eye. Although it seems like Las Vegas is trying to push to the front of the line with their needs with some very big projects already underway and more on the drawing board.

And although "the city has made major improvements in water efficiency, using about 40 percent less water per person over the past 25 years or so. The problem is the city's population has tripled over that same time, and total water usage is up (though down from its peak about a decade ago--an improvement due at least partially to the economic downturn). It's like a one-ton man patting himself on the back for losing 400 pounds. Great news, but there's still a long way to go."

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/03/las_vegas_water_conservation_it_s_a_mirage.html

Additionally, the drought is forcing old agreements to be thrown-away - with neighbors against neighbors, farmers against city dwellers, businesses against everyone.  Water is a finite resource and as more and more of us move to this arid section of the country, these lawsuits will grow in number and size.  Not just in arid states like southern CA, NV, NM, AZ but in states like Texas where it rains in buckets and where well owners historically could pump as they wanted.   

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/us/wests-drought-and-growth-intensify-conflict-over-water-rights.html

Easy water is no more.  A new day is upon us; one where water conservation, water reuse and water efficiency are topics we all will know what they mean and why they are important.

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