LETTERS: No building permits until drought ends

To the editor:

There has been some discussion lately on water use in the Las Vegas Valley, some of it prompted by the opening of the new water park, Cowabunga Bay. The questions being asked are valid ones, most notably: How can we afford to have another water park when we’re all being asked to conserve water?

That question has deep roots. We live in the Mojave Desert. My dictionary defines a desert as “a region so lacking in rainfall, moisture and vegetation as to be almost uninhabitable by any plant or animal population.” Walk out your front door. Does that look like a desert to anyone? Most of what you see doesn’t belong here.

For years now, we’ve been asked by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to conserve water, and while I applaud the agency’s efforts to return us to desert landscaping, nothing has been done to rein in water use. Many years ago, I wrote a letter to my county commissioner suggesting that a building moratorium be put in place until the drought ends. I can only assume that it’s never happened for one simple reason: Greed. More people means more property taxes from apartments and houses, and increased tax revenue from other sources to spend on pet projects.

I assume the region will continue on the growth path until it reaches the level of a catastrophe and people start abandoning their homes to move somewhere else. Do we have another housing bust in our future? Maybe. It’s time for our county commissioners and city councilors to show some leadership and do the right thing for all the citizens of Las Vegas and Clark County. Stop issuing building permits until the drought ends.

ART GISI

LAS VEGAS

Desalination plants

To the editor:

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website, about 55 percent of Nevada — already the nation’s driest state — is under “extreme” or “exceptional” drought conditions. Lake Mead has been reduced by these drought conditions, and work is underway to build a third straw to draw water from a much lower level in the lake.

In addition to this work, there needs to be serious consideration about tapping into the vast supply of water from the Pacific Ocean. This brings to mind desalination plants off the California coast, with large pipelines to get the water inland. But a better idea is to forget the desalination plants off the coast and pump seawater directly to places that need it. Build local desalination plants to process the seawater, then distribute the fresh water. This might even provide a boost for local economies.

In a nation that sent a man to the moon, our brilliant scientific minds can solve the problems caused by drought. In the big oceans, there is “water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” — until we desalinate it.

ROGER WITCHER

LAS VEGAS

Immigration crisis

To the editor:

Is it just my imagination that we have been experiencing one crisis after another crisis since Barack Obama took over as the president of the United States? The number of crises we have experienced under this presidency are too numerous to mention. Even now, Mr. Obama slips into his speeches the words “remake America.” The “remake” he refers to can only come about by eliminating the form of government we’ve enjoyed for 238 years.

This may sound cynical, but could some of the various crises which have occurred under President Obama’s reign been avoided? After all, Rahm Emanuel, current mayor of Chicago and former chief of staff for President Obama, once said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

One very serious crisis currently at hand is immigration, namely the tens of thousands of unescorted children flowing across our southern border. The Obama administration, which has allowed this situation to occur, is frantically trying to disperse these thousands of children to various communities throughout the country. This flow of illegal immigrants will never end until we create a completely secure southern border. Our country cannot afford this influx.

CLARENCE LANZRATH

LAS VEGAS

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