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Las Vegas Goals (redirected from Southwest US Goals)

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          The method used for evaluating potential solutions will be guided by the sustainability ethic.  Simply put, no solution is viable if it chooses to ignore or minimize any of the three dimensions of sustainability in the figure below. These factors are economy, having a stable economy that is strong enough to offer reasonable security and jobs; environment, having an approach that does not degrade the land used by a society; and society, having a fair system that does not exploit any portion of the population.  





          The problem stems from the fact that Las Vegas receives an allocation of 300,000 acre-feet of water per year, in addition to any water that has been recycled back into Lake Mead, but is now exceeding that allotment.  Currently, water uses are not being managed in a sustainable way.  More water is being used than is returned to the system (Sun).  If nothing is done to prevent the available water from continuing to decline, it will run out.  This will lead to economic and social decline in the region.  If this is to be avoided, there are a few goals that must be pursued. 


          Our goal for Las Vegas is to maintain a sustainable supply of available water by 2050. In order to accomplish this, a number of secondary goals will need to be met:


  • Establish a sustainable use ethic of water.  This will involve education of citizens regarding water issue and conservation as the first step.
  • Educate the local businesses on ways to decrease their water usage by reducing and conserving water usage altogether. Educating citizens to be more efficient with their water is the first step towards a long term solution.
  • There must be a significant reduction in household water usage using methods like managing yards better, fixing leaks, and a general ethic of not wasting water.
  • A reevaluation of the definition of "beneficial use" in Nevada water law.  Water is allocated in Nevada by beneficial use.  What was beneficial use when the statute was adopted has changed.  Taking another look at this practice with limited availability of water in mind could help reduce water consumption. This can be done by providing incentives for people to save water.  Because America is a capitalist nation, market incentives work well to change the actions of industries and citizens.
  • Monitor and control the total water use in Las Vegas using a permitting system. 



    • Capitalism: The American system is based on having a private sector that exists to make a profit for its shareholders. Corporations are required to perform their actions in the most efficient cost effective manner. This is fundamental to the American system and way of life.
    • Democracy: The American system is based on one person having one vote. The system seeks to let the people be governed according to their own values. For the government to do anything concerning water, the public must want action to be taken.
    • Growing population: Las Vegas is a fast growing city. Growth is the nature of an American region. It would be difficult to curb growth without infringing on citizens rights
    • Precipitation: There is only so much precipitation feeding the Colorado river. This is beyond human control.



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