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Study Predicts Climate Change Will Stress NV Water Systems

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021   

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- A new study showed climate change means Nevada summers will be longer and hotter in the coming decades, and that has big implications for our water systems.

The study from the Water Utility Climate Alliance looked at the impact climate change will have on water utilities, including the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Keely Brooks, climate-change policy analyst for the Authority, said the sunniest state in the nation will really begin to feel the heat.

"We could see, here in Las Vegas, five months of above-100-degree temperatures by the end of the century," Brooks projected. "We currently experience a little over two months on average."

In order to keep their workforce healthy and productive, the study found utilities will have to give crews more breaks, build more cooling and hydration stations, and vary their work hours to avoid the hottest time of the day.

Mohammed Mahmoud, senior policy analyst for the Central Arizona Project and chair of Water Utility Climate Alliance, noted as temperatures rise, so does the cost of protecting facilities and personnel.

"The cooling requirements will increase by about 20% as early as 2070 across the southwest," Mahmoud stated.

The study found for every 18-degree Fahrenheit jump in temperatures, the life span of water utility infrastructure is cut in half.


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