More on where the Bellagio fountain gets its water

The Dunes

The Dunes

My post last week on the Bellagio fountain and the fact that it got its water from wells originally drilled to water an old golf course drew questions. Today, we have answers.

Jeffrey Prest asks: “What was the name of the old golf course?”

Doug Bennett at the Southern Nevada Water Authority shared this old postcard of the Dunes Hotel and the golf course behind it, which Doug says stretched from Tropicana Ave. to Flamingo Rd.

David Zetland observed: “I thought it was saline g/w, i.e., ‘useless’ for drinking but not for display…”

Doug explains:

The fountains at Bellagio are fed using well water for which the Dunes already had a long-standing permit from the State of Nevada. The fountains do not use municipal water. It is my understanding that the water is not of suitable quality to go straight to the fountain and that Bellagio treats it first. The Bellagio Hotel and fountain uses much less water than the golf course did and produces substantially more economic return, as you pointed out in your presentation. Similarly, the Wynn Hotel, built on the site of the old Desert Inn, also used well water conserved by a redesign of the old golf course to meet the needs of their landscape and water feature.

And now, my full confession, which may require me to turn in my Western Water Wonks membership card: I love the Bellagio fountain.



  1. Indeed, even the large Wynn Golf Course down the street from Bellagio pumps groundwater (permitted) to irrigate the grounds.

    According to my contact at Las Vegas Valley Water District, no additional treatment of water from the aquifer (other than sediment removal so it doesn’t harm the irrigation equipment) is required; water quality is quite good.

  2. Pingback: Another Week of GW News, March 10. 2013 – A Few Things Ill Considered

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