Thirst in the Mojave

Thirst in the Mojave

With expected changes in climate, and no change in future water usage, Las Vegas could run out of water by 2021. (Las Vegas Sun)

Water is one of the most politically charged issues in Nevada today. In Las Vegas, with a population of more than 2 million, water is the single most important resource, yet there simply is not enough to go around.

By all indications the region is only going to get dryer. Scientists predict devastating effects from global warming, and water managers are looking to ever more creative ways to reduce reliance on the overburdened Colorado River. A reservoir at Lake Mead is the source of 90 percent of the valley’s water supply, but water levels there have fallen steadily for nearly a decade.

This Las Vegas Sun project tells the story of the region’s water through a five-part video series that focuses on specific issues, ranging from lawn-watering to potential solutions such as building a pipeline or pumping water out of the desert (and their intrinsic drawbacks). One video examines whether the tourist mecca can continue to grow at its current pace as water availability declines.

The videos are augmented with in-depth text articles, slideshows and inventive interactive tools to help enhance and add context to the stories. A numeric timer on the homepage ominously counts down in milliseconds how long before Lake Mead is projected to run dry.

CHANNEL: Las Vegas Sun

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