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Study Says Nevada Sitting on “Oasis” of Water and Savings

November 13, 2007

Las Vegas, NV – The typical Nevada household is sitting on a "hidden oasis" of water that could save them money -- if they'd only tap into it. That's the finding of a study released today by the Pacific Institute. It estimates that single family homes in the Las Vegas area use about 100 gallons of water a day, but that amount could be cut in half. Launce Rake, of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), says all it would take is a commitment to adopt a few common water-saving methods.

"Las Vegas, unfortunately leads the Southwest as one of the heaviest water users per capita in the country. We could trim, without too much heartbreak, about 40 percent of the water that we use per person."

Pacific Institute President Dr. Peter Gleick explains the changes are as simple as switching to more efficient washing machines and toilets, which could curb indoor water use by as much as 30 percent. He says there's a lot we can do outdoors, too.

"We could certainly have less landscaping, but even the landscaping we have could be more efficiently watered. And indoors, Las Vegas has done actually only a small fraction of the things that it can do with existing technology that would save money and energy, and of course, save water."

Rake adds says the study affirms that water conservation is a viable option for the growing needs of Las Vegas.

"That would provide a real alternative to going after these huge groundwater reserves in the Great Basin. We're very concerned about that groundwater plan, because it would have significant environmental impacts."

The study finds the Las Vegas Water Authority uses as much as 90 percent of its water efficiency budget on a turf removal program. It suggests branching out and including other methods, that have already been proven effective in other Western cities, would make greater strides in reducing the state's overall water consumption.

Read the full report online, at

Michael Clifford/Eric Mack, Public News Service - NV