The unexpected history of Las Vegas and Hoover Dam

Folks in Nevada today are celebrating the 80th anniversary of Hoover Dam’s sort-of-semi-official power production. Hoover Dam is such a dominant feature on the history of the west in the 20th century that it’s fun to contemplate what people thought about it before it happened. One of my fascinating side trips when I was researching …

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Resilience, and pulling the cap on the new Las Vegas Lake Mead intake

Southern Nevada Water Authority crews pulled the end cap off of the agency’s new, deeper Lake Mead intake today, and by this weekend they’ll be pumping water from the new system. This is a major milestone in a system that, when completed, provides critical water management breathing room for the entire Colorado River Basin. Theorists of …

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Las Vegas to help out Southern California with 150,000 acre feet of Colorado River water

The Southern Nevada Water Authority’s board will take up a proposal this Thursday to ship 150,000 acre feet of Las Vegas’s unused Colorado River water to Southern California to help out during California’s epic drought. The water will help the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California make up for shortfalls in its supplies from Northern …

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The Economist gives Las Vegas points for water management

The notion of using “Las Vegas” and “sustainable” in the same sentence might give a lot of westerners the heebee jeebees, but there’s an interesting case to be made that its water management decisions over the last decade have pointed it in that direction. The Economist, in a look at Vegas water performance in its …

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