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Solar panels at River Mountains Water Treatment Facility

Sustainability projects

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.

Following the passage of modified renewable energy standards by the Nevada Legislature in 2019, the SNWA met the 2021 target of 24 percent renewables and is on track to meet the 50 percent target by 2030.

Hydroelectric turbines at the Sloan Pumping Station.
Exterior of Molasky Corporate Center, where SNWA offices are housed.
Solar panels at River Mountains Water Treatment Facility.
Back of fleet vehicle with biodiesel sticker.
Aerial view of Hoover Dam
Handshake over solar panels
Illustration of earth floating in water

Hydroelectric turbines

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.

LEED building certification

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

Solar power

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 approximately 300 kilowatts of clean energy. Combined, these solar projects generate more than 35 million kilowatt hours per year - the equivalent energy usage of nearly 3,000 Las Vegas households.

Alternative-fueled vehicle fleet

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 85 percent of all vehicles
  • ✅ Track fuel consumption and develop ways to increase efficiency
  • ✅ Use GPS technology to map the most fuel- and cost-efficient routes for drivers
  • ✅ Recycle materials such as motor oil, tires and rubber, antifreeze and batteries

Hoover Dam hydropower

The Water Authority contracts with the Colorado River Commission for power generated at Hoover Dam and is allocated a percentage of the power. Approximately 12 percent of the Authority's annual supply comes from Hoover Dam hydropower.

Silver State Energy Association

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.

Water Utility Climate Alliance

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 12 of the country’s large metropolitan regions, working together to enhance climate change research and improve water management decision-making to ensure that water utilities are positioned to respond to climate change and protect our water supplies.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority sign as seen at the top of the Molasky Corporate Center building

Sustainability in action

See how the Southern Nevada Water Authority meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations.

View Our Sustainability Report

Award-winning fleet

By committing to sustainable practices and using a variety of alternative fuels, we've consistently ranked in 100 Best Fleets' 50 most environmentally friendly government-based fleet operations in North America.

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