Reducing our corporate footprint and raising sustainability awareness among our employees, partners and community are among the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s core values.
The Water Authority’s main sustainability focus is managing the region’s water resources and developing solutions to ensure future water resources, but we also incorporate sustainability into our daily business practices.
We have voluntarily committed to meeting 25 percent of our energy needs through renewable resources by 2025, which parallels Nevada's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards.
Sustainability in action
See how the Southern Nevada Water Authority meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations.
By committing to sustainable practices and using a variety of alternative fuels, we've been awarded the top spot in the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas for 2018.
We have developed hydropower projects at three Water Authority facilities with a small turbine and induction generator at each site. As water passes through the pipeline, it turns the turbine and generates electricity. Combined, more than two megawatts of electricity can be generated from these systems.
Located in downtown Las Vegas, the Molasky Corporate Center is an environmentally friendly office building and home to the Water Authority. Based on protocols outlined by the United States Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)(Opens new window), Molasky Corporate Center has earned gold certification.
Key features include:
- A design offering significant energy savings by maximizing the amount of sunlight to interior space, minimizing glare and heat from direct sunlight in conjunction with electric lights
- An under floor air distribution system resulting in huge energy savings and health benefits
- Wall insulation comprised of mulched, post-industrial blue jeans
- An improved indoor environmental quality due to the exclusion during construction of volatile organic compounds often found in adhesives, sealants, paints and carpet products
- A water recycling system using water captured from towers located on the roof for landscape irrigation, saving 3,000 gallons of water per cycle
- Restrooms equipped with low-flow plumbing fixtures
- A recycling center for paper, cardboard, glass, metal and plastics
- Access to showers and lockers for those traveling by bicycle
- Offices equipped with Energy Star rated equipment and appliances
The River Mountains Water Treatment Facility gets energy from the adjacent 14-megawatt River Mountain Solar Facility, which has more than 55,000 solar panels and covers nearly 100 acres. Completed in 2015, the system provides clean and renewable energy to power a portion of the community's water. The facility also features solar covered parking panels and a Regional Test Center which produces 432 kilowatts of clean energy. Combined, these solar projects generate more than 44 million kilowatt hours per year - the equivalent energy usage of nearly 3,500 Las Vegas households.
The Water Authority’s goal is to have a 100-percent alternative-fueled vehicle fleet.
Currently, our green vehicle practices include:
- Alternative fuels power more than 89 percent of all vehicles. All new vehicles purchased since 2006 run on alternative fuels.
- Track fuel consumption and develop ways to increase efficiency.
- Use GPS technology to map the most fuel- and cost-efficient routes for drivers.
- Recycle recycles materials such as motor oil, tires and rubber, antifreeze and batteries.
The Water Authority contracts with the Colorado River Commission for power generated at Hoover Dam and is allocated a percentage of the power. Approximately 10 percent of the Authority's annual supply comes from Hoover Dam hydropower.
The Water Authority is a member of the Silver State Energy Association, a cooperative association between public agencies with the common goal to jointly plan, develop, own and operate power resources to meet their own needs and those of their customers. Membership in this organization offers improved project development opportunities and power purchasing capabilities, the sharing of resources and expertise, and the opportunity for jointly managing energy needs.
As part of the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA), the Water Authority works to reduce the impact of climate change. WUCA is a consortium of water providers serving 11 of the country’s large metropolitan regions, working together to improve research into the impacts of climate change on water utilities, develop strategies for adapting to climate change, and implement tactics to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.