Southern Nevada Water Authority Promotes Water Conservation and Backs it with Cash

It’s way past time to face the simple fact that “green grass” lawns are not compatible with a responsible and environmentally conscious lifestyle in the desert southwest. The Colorado River, water supplier to 25 million people in the western United States, is now in it’s eighth year of the worst drought in a century, with no end in sight. Fortunately for Las Vegas residents, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is taking a highly pro-active approach to the issue of water conservation. Despite the size and opulence of water-based attractions on the Strip, the truth is that residential use accounts for 59% of the drinking water absorbed in Greater Las Vegas. Unfortunately, a sizable amount of this usage is sprayed as irrigation water on “green grass” lawns.

For the last eight years, the SNWA has been promoting a voluntary program whereby residents of Las Vegas homes actually get paid to replace their grass with water-efficient desert landscaping. To date, more than 21,000 homeowners and 2,800 businesses have participated. How much progress has the Water Authority made? The SNWA program is responsible for eliminating 86 million square feet of grass in Southern Nevada at a cost of $76.6 million. Water conservation is serious stuff in the desert southwest as you can readily see from these numbers. Of course, the most important number is the 17.5 billion gallons of water that has already been saved by converting grass lawns to desert-friendly shrubbery and plants. Wow, talk about results.

Comments are closed.