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Henderson council votes to ban evaporative cooling in future projects

The Henderson City Council approved a bill Tuesday that will prohibit evaporative cooling systems and cooling towers in future projects.

The council voted unanimously to pass Bill No. 3695, which amends Henderson’s mechanical code to put a moratorium on the use of evaporative cooling systems in buildings and structures submitted, approved or built after certain dates over the next two years.

The bill is one of multiple initiatives to conserve water in Southern Nevada, according to Lynn Nielson, manager of plans and examination services. Nielson said during his presentation to the council that “behind landscaping, evaporative cooling is one of Southern Nevada’s largest consumptive water uses.”

With the bill’s passing, project submittals received by the city on or after Sept. 1, permits issued on or after Feb. 1 of next year and buildings built on or after Feb. 1, 2026, won’t be allowed to use those cooling systems.

Places that already have evaporative cooling systems won’t be required to change their systems under the new amendment, according to Nielson. If a currently used system breaks down, the owner can still use evaporative cooling with a replacement system as long as the replacement consumes the same amount or less water.

Josh Langdon, a representative for NV Energy, brought up concerns that the required change to mechanical cooling systems may increase energy demand in the city. However, he said, there will be “no real major concern with energy supply as a result of this proposal.”

Councilman Dan Stewart noted that this change is in line with the rest of Southern Nevada, a point also reinforced by Nielson.

“I think it’s very important that we realize that we’re just one entity within this region,” said Stewart. “Everybody is doing it on par, no government entity is doing a different code.”

In other action, the council voted unanimously to dissolve the Community Development Block Grant Committee.

The city wants to “maximize physical improvements in eligible areas,” with funding previously overseen by the committee, according to an agenda item summary. To accomplish that goal, the city will focus on larger projects and capital improvements instead of smaller grants.

In other action, the council raised the budget for the special election from $300,000 to $600,000, and approved an official proclamation recognizing Black History Month.

Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkCredicoII.

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