Ashleigh Stevens October 1, 2013 Pat Mulroy Press Conference

Southern Nevada residents are no strangers to water conservation, but what do other means of maintaining water in the valley mean for their water rates? Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Pat Mulroy recently declared and emergency under Nevada law paving the way for changes to be made that will effect all residents in Southern Nevada who receive 90 percent of their water supply from a Colorado River reservoir at Lake Mead. What are the proposed changes that come with this state of emergency? The prominent change that that Mulroy is pushing for would be a third intake pump into Lake Mead at 800 feet, which comes with an $817 million dollar price tag. Much of this push comes with the fear of losing the first of two intake pumps, which sits at 1,150 feet, dangerously close when Lake Mead’s current level is around 1,100 feet and expected to drop as we continue along in this thirteen-year drought. Fixing the first intake pump to maintain the community until the third is complete, which is expected early 2015, comes with a $12 million dollar price tag of its own. “In order to protect this community while we finish the third straw it was a necessary thing to do,” declares Mulroy. Another option that has been proposed to try to distance Southern Nevada from its reliance on Colorado River water is the Groundwater Development Project.

This project would involve constructing a buried pipeline system that would transport groundwater from central and eastern Nevada to Southern Nevada, which would require the support from the Bureau of Land Management. In order to pay for the completion of these projects and outstanding debts, officials with the Southern Nevada Water Authority approved a rate hike that will take effect in January. This increase is expected to bring in an estimated $45 million dollars a year by 2017. The average single-family home will feel the effects rise about a dollar each year. While these projects in production the SNWA plans to continue their restrictions on watering, better enforce proper watering schedules with patrol, and continuing the Water Smart Landscaping Rebate program. Previous efforts have helped Southern Nevada conserve an estimated one third of water in reserve These major changes come shorty after Mulroy’s announcement that she will be retiring after 22 years of service to Southern Nevada. Mulroy has yet to set an exact date but aims to make a timely transition by early 2014. When asked who she recommends to fill the shoes as her predecessor Mulroy suggested John Entsminger, senior deputy general manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Valley Water District. Entsminger has been with both agencies’ since 1999.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful