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An eye toward sustainability: Henderson officials outline plans to save water

Water conservation is now listed among Henderson’s top priorities, and city officials outlined several methods that the city will use to achieve that goal.

The city placed more emphasis on sustainability with the release of its strategic plan for 2024, including it as one of the city’s core priorities.

Priscilla Howell, Henderson’s director of utility services, said that including sustainability in the priorities opens up the current conservation efforts to broader than before.

“Although it’s got a bigger and more visible position in the strategic plan, it is something that we’ve been working on for many, many years,” Howell said.

City records show Henderson’s water usage decreased last year for the first time in four years. The city used more water in 2020, and while residents used less in 2021, business use increased again that year.

But in 2022, both residential and commercial water use fell.

Howell said the city’s water conservation efforts fall into four groups: community engagement, water efficiency in city facilities, increasing incentives and increasing regulations and enforcement.

She said the biggest short-term effects on water conservation will come from a focus on resident education and improvements in efficiency.

“One of the things that we’re well aware of is that if we could get everyone following the existing rules and using water a little bit more efficiently, that we would save a significant amount of water in the valley,” Howell said.

The city’s water use rates work on a tiered system, where higher water use can result in a move to a more expensive tier. The city isn’t currently planning to increase rates, but that may change in the future, Howell said.

Henderson’s system differs from the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which allows a specific amount of water per household, but charges an excessive use fee if someone uses more than a specific amount of water.

Howell said Henderson isn’t planning to implement an overuse fee, but that may change in the future.

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com.

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