Water in the Desert: Harry Reid Edition

Water in Las VegasPeter Waldman has a story in Portfolio exploring the role of the federal government in general and Harry Reid in particular in the growth of Las Vegas:

In a city running out of water, massive housing projects rise in clouds of dust on the outer reaches of the Las Vegas Valley like stucco ramparts built by some demented desert king. Just over the hills to the east, Lake Mead, which is on the Colorado River, the area’s main water source, is literally drying up. Runaway population growth and a historic drought have rendered the nation’s largest reservoir a virtual drainage ditch, down to a skeletal 48 percent of capacity. Yet construction in Las Vegas continues unabated. The city’s latest megaproject is a master-planned “sustainable community” of 16,000 homes—anchored by a high-rise “neighborhood” casino—to be built about 15 miles northwest of the Las Vegas Strip, at the gateway to beloved Mount Charleston, part of the region’s only national forest.

(via Aquafornia)