IInvestigator Perry Kay investigated the crime by interfering with government-issued vehicle brakes. “Oh, this doesn’t look very good. Let’s take a peek,” he said, getting out of the car to handle one of the most existential violations of the drought. Las Vegas – Sprinkler failure.
Kaye is one of nearly 50 water waste investigators deployed by the local water department to crack down on even the slightest misuse of liquids endangered in the western United States that have been dried by a 20-year drought. It is a person. The situation in Las Vegas is Record Last year, it was getting harder and harder for 240 consecutive days when it didn’t rain.
Lake Mead, a vast reservoir that supplies 90% of the water to Las Vegas, is now Plunge to historic lowsIn short, Nevada is facing its first forced reduction in water supply next year. This looming reduction imposes restrictions on cities that have managed to thrive as a flashy oasis in the scorching Mojave Desert.
“The lake isn’t full at this point, so we need to save all the water droplets,” said Kay, a former U.S. Air Force soldier wearing a hibis vest and wielding a badge. Violator. He starts the shift at 4am. “We’re civil servants, so we weren’t there at the time, but many think they’re open 24/7,” he said.
Kay is fined on a regular basis. The fine starts at $ 80 and doubles for each subsequent breach. This is a sort of rule violation he found in Summerlin, a wealthy Las Vegas outpost where landscapers tend to groom well-maintained land in the heat of the sky. water It is not allowed to spray on lawns or plants, but it cannot escape from the property. That day, a damaged sprinkler caused water to flow into the gutter, losing valuable resources.
“Look, there are small streams and streams here,” Kay used a phone to videotape the meandering water on the road. “If everyone does this, a significant amount of water is wasted.”
Las Vegas is so hot that the temperature in July exceeds 40 ° C (104 ° F), so the wrong water evaporates within 5 minutes. Kay put up a yellow flag next to the leak as a warning to the homeowner, but a few taps on the computer attached to his cruiser showed that the property had a previous warning. You will be fined $ 80.
However, due to the dangerously escalated drought in 2021 squeezing Nevada, such a rule of not watering between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm and not watering at all on Sundays is not possible. There is growing awareness that it is sufficient. State passed law It will tear Las Vegas’non-functional’public lawns (such as roadside and roundabout grass) over the next five years, saving about 10% on tap water usage.
“It’s just useless. Only the person who cuts it walks it,” Kay thrust his finger into the median of the nearby grass. “Some people just want to recreate the homes they grew up in.” The new law gives homeowners money to replace thirsty grass with stronger desert plants and rocks. Along with incentives, we admit that climate change does not allow easy imposition of lush green oasis into arid desert basins.
The city, which includes a huge replica of the Eiffel Tower, a vast golf course, and a Simulakura on the Venetian canal with a gondola, is not a perfect fit.But Las Vegas is called “Meadows” in Spanish for that reason. Natural hot spring pumped up By the 1960s, we knew that at least a few small creosote bushes and tumbleweed were dry enough to survive naturally here.
“We live in the desert. We are the driest city in the United States and the driest state in the United States,” said Colby Peregrino, Deputy Director of Resources for the South Nevada Water Department. I will. “We must act that way.”
Pellegrino said the recent drought expansion was “extremely scary” for some Las Vegas residents, but water officials claim they are planning at this time. Lake Mead’s water level fell below 1,075 feet in June to just one-third, the first under seven state agreements to share water from the Colorado River that Hoover Dam uses to build reservoirs. Caused a reduction.
With different water distributions in each state, Nevada is a victim of a depopulated history, acquiring just 300,000 acre-foot of water annually based on an agreement signed before the Hoover Dam was completed in the 1930s. (By comparison, California has acquired 4.4m acre-foot). “The joke is that the Nevada representative was drunk,” said Pellegrino, born in 1983, when the state’s population was only 900,000.that is Now over 3 meters It accepts tens of millions of tourists annually.
This small water allocation will shrink by 21,000 acre-foot with new cuts, but Nevada has made impressive progress in reducing water use and below the lower limit, despite nearly doubling its population since the early 2000s. Achieved. Pellegrino is confident that further savings are possible and is scrutinizing the water used in the Las Vegas casino’s ubiquitous cooling system.
However, the effects of global heating on western snow and rivers are relentless, and urban water conservation has only progressed so far. “Las Vegas has done great things, such as cutting grass, but has lost 20% of the Colorado River flow since 2000, and by 2050 a further 10% loss is fully possible,” said water and climate scientists. Brad Udall said.At Colorado State University The study focuses on the stress the river is facing..
“I’m worried that it’s going to be more than that. It should scare everyone.”
Returning to Summerlin, Perry Kay is also relentless. The house opposite the first criminal broke a sprinkler that sprinkled water on grass and puddle of the road. Kay knocks on the glamorous door to inform the homeowner, but no one is in.
“These sprinklers aren’t popping up properly. They’re oozing everywhere,” Kay tweeted. He has cracked down on water waste for the past 16 years, during which time he has imposed numerous fines. “I’ve always wanted to quit my job, but I seem to retire first.”
“We live in the desert. We have to act that way.”: Las Vegas faces the reality of drought | Water Foundation
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