Where We Stand
Our New Normal
Water is a precious resource that our region cannot afford to waste. Research suggests that Southern Nevada will continue to experience more intense and longer drought conditions fueled by climate change, which has a direct impact on our water supply. Fueled by drought and a reduction in snowpack within the Colorado River Basin, Lake Mead’s water level has declined steadily since the early 2000s. As of June 2022, water levels were at 28% of normal capacity, the lowest since it was filled in the 1930s. Drought also worsens water quality issues due to higher concentrations of nutrients and contaminants in the water, which has implications for water treatment systems and the health of natural ecosystems.
What We Can Do
Reducing Our Water Use
Drought, evaporation, pollution, and land use choices impact the quantity and quality of our water supply from the Colorado River and Lake Mead. Current and projected drought conditions will limit the availability of safe drinking water, threatening public health, our economy, and the many systems that depend on water to operate. To ensure a sufficient water supply for our growing region, we must invest in and maintain efficient water systems, prevent pollution, and conserve water resources.
We achieved a 52% decrease in water use per person between 2002 and 2019, even while population grew by 48%. As a region, we'll need to expand our efforts to meet our goal of 98 GPCD by 2030. Make a difference by conserving water at home!
Our 2030 target for water consumption is two-thirds of SNWA's goal of 86 GPCD by 2035.
Baseline Source: SNWA, Water Resource Plan (2021).
What We Can Do
Conserving the Source
Governments, agencies, businesses, and residents of Southern Nevada must work together to reduce consumptive use of our main water source: the Colorado River. The Clark County Climate Vulnerability Assessment identified opportunities to increase resilience of the region’s water systems, including:
- Advancing regional collaboration on water resiliency planning and management;
- Working with local agencies to integrate climate related risks (e.g., projected water levels, water quality) into wastewater infrastructure design and maintenance plans; and
- Promoting conservation and preservation practices to protect and enhance water quality and maintain riparian and aquatic habitat connectivity.
Today, 40% of the water withdrawn from Lake Mead is returned, while 60% is counted as consumed. The County will continue to advocate and collaborate with regional and national entities to ensure a safe, reliable future for our threatened water system.
Targets calculated based on % reduction between 2002 and 2020; not targets set by SNWA.
Leading by Example
Goodbye, Useless Grass
Nevada enacted a law in 2021 prohibiting SNWA to deliver water to irrigate decorative grass in streetscapes, medians, parking lots, and other areas where it does not serve a recreational or functional purpose. The law aims to help businesses conserve nearly 10% of Southern Nevada’s water supply and is estimated to save more than 9.5 billion gallons per year once fully enacted.
Next Steps for a Sustainable Water System
Explore the goals, strategies, and actions in the All-In Community Plan. Use the dropdown table to see the progress we've made towards implementing each action!
Sustainable Water Systems
Are You All-In?
Conserve Water for a Thriving Future
Complying with water regulations can be easy with rebates and help from SNWA. Check out these resources!