Church of Twain: The fight for enough water for Las Vegas

  As the recession grinds on, there’s talk about a lot of things in the press. But something we haven’t heard much about lately is the increasing need to preserve, protect, and expand Southern Nevada’s water supply.

  You’d think that would have come up as a major component of Nevada’s slice of the $787 billion stimulus bill. As Saint Mark of Missouri is sometimes credited with saying, “Water flows uphill to money.”

  The best short article I’ve read recently on this subject is from Bloomberg News.

An excerpt worth pondering over your first glass of water in the morning before you go out and wash your car or water the lawn:
  “Today, Lake Mead is 1,112 feet above sea level. Should it fall to 1,075 feet, the federal government would cut the water to seven states that depend on the Colorado River, according to an agreement they all signed in 2007.

  “If the drought persists and more water is diverted from the Colorado, the lake could drop to 1,050 feet. That would prevent water from flowing into the intake pipe and cut 40 percent of Las Vegas' supply -- the disaster (water czar Pat) Mulroy is trying to head off. Hoover Dam, completed in 1935 to regulate the river and form Lake Mead, wouldn't be able to produce electricity for the 750,000 people it supplies in Los Angeles.”

  If you think Southern Nevada’s economy and high unemployment threaten our future, wait until Lake Mead’s level dips below 1,050 feet.

  If Twain is correct, a very expensive remedy may be the only solution to this one.