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Preparing for the future

The Water Authority has worked diligently to maximize existing water available to Southern Nevada and to plan for our community's future.

Water resource portfolio

The Water Authority maintains a flexible portfolio of water resources that can be used to meet the short- and long-term water needs of our community. Having a range of resources allows the Water Authority to assess its overall water resource options and to make decisions about which resources to develop and use when needed.

This approach provides the Water Authority with flexibility in adapting to changing supply and demand conditions, and helps to ensure community water demands can be met. Resources in the portfolio are organized into three categories – permanent, temporary, and future resources.

 

Permanent resources

Expected to be available to the Water Authority over its 50-year planning horizon, permanent resources make up a base of supplies that can be used during any Colorado River operating condition, including shortage. Permanent resources for Southern Nevada include:

  • Colorado River and return-flow credits
  • Intentionally Created Surplus
  • Las Vegas Valley groundwater rights
  • Water reuse/recycled water

Temporary resources

Resources that have been "banked" or stored for future use are an important management tool that provides flexibility. They can be used to meet short-term gaps between supply and demand, and provide a bridge while future resources are being developed and include:

  • Southern Nevada Water Bank
  • California Water Bank
  • Arizona Water Bank
  • Intentionally Created Surplus

Future resources

Resources expected to be available to the Water Authority at some point during its 50-year planning horizon include:

  • Desalination
  • In-state groundwater
  • Virgin River/Colorado River augmentation
  • Water transfers and exchanges with other states

Conservation

Water conservation is a cost-effective resource that helps reduce current and future demand for water. Water conservation helps stretch our community's available water supplies, by freeing up water that is used inefficiently or wasted.

Water Resource Plan

Since 1996, the Water Authority has developed and continues to maintain a Water Resource Plan that provides a comprehensive overview of projected water demands in Southern Nevada, as well as the water resources available, or expected to be available, to meet those demands over time.

The plan considers several factors, such as the potential impacts of continued drought and climate change on water resource availability, as well as the potential impact of changing economic conditions and water use patterns on long-term water demands.

With continued progress toward achieving the region's water conservation goal and adaptive use of its water resource portfolio, the Water Authority has sufficient permanent, temporary, and future resources in its water resource portfolio to meet the community’s short- and long-term water resource needs. The Water Authority will continue to review and update its resource plan annually.

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