Western US tackles drought

The Western states, suffering long-term drought, are planning a series of measures including a new water pipeline to satisfy demand in fast-expanding Las Vegas.

Four drought-stricken Western states are investing $2.5bn in water projects in an attempt to combat water shortages that have continued since 1999 with measures including a pipeline to pump water from northern Nevada to Las Vegas.

California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico are investing in desalination and construction of reservoirs on a massive scale as climate change promises even drier conditions in the future.

Southern Nevada Water Authority plans to deliver the 200,000 acre-feet of groundwater through a series of measures, including around 285 miles of buried water pipe, three pumping stations and a buried 40m gallon storage reservoir. The pipeline is to join Spring Valley in northern Nevada with Las Vegas valley.

Fast population growth is pushing up water demand in Las Vegas, which the pipeline should help to satisfy.

Meanwhile in Arizona a different approach has brought a desalination plant back into use to tap into salty groundwater resources.

Goska Romanowicz

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