Not learning from Las Vegas
“The situation is as bad as you can imagine,” said Tim Barnett, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “It’s just going to be screwed. And relatively quickly. Unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere Las Vegas is out of business. Yet they’re still building, which is stupid.”
The crisis stems from the Las Vegas’s complete reliance on Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir, which was created by the Hoover Dam in 1936 - after which it took six years to fill completely.
It is located 25 miles outside the city and supplies 90 per cent of its water. But over the last decade, as Las Vegas’s population has grown by 400,000 to two million, Lake Mead has slowly been drained of four trillion gallons of water and is now well under half full. Mr Barnett predicts it may be a “dead pool” that provides no water by about 2036.
Why did we build a city in the middle of a desert anyhow? No, not Los Angeles....