Tag Archive for 'deserts and water supply'

Vegas tries to kick its water addiction

“At first glance, it’s pretty easy to say Las Vegas has an unhealthy water fetish. There’s the 22-million-gallon Bellagio fountain, which rockets dancing cylinders of well water 500 feet into the air to the tune of “God Bless the USA.” There’s the liquid volcano at The Mirage, where water seems to bubble like lava. And, finally, the blue canals inside (inside!) the Venetian hotel, where water buoys gondolas for the amusement of gamblers and tourists.

“Keep in mind that this city is in the middle of the Mojave Desert, one of the hottest and driest places in the world.

“Step off reality-defiant Las Vegas Boulevard with its neon-soaked casinos and lavish “water features” and you’ll find a place that gets only 4 inches of rain in an average year — where the air is so dry that tourists keep lip balm and eye drops close at hand to avoid getting “lizard lips” and, generally, having all life-giving moisture vacuum-sucked right out of them. It’s a place where workers plant rocks instead of vegetation beside the roads, because you don’t have to water rocks, and water is one resource this manufactured oasis certainly doesn’t have in spades.

“Throw in a population boom, record drought, and climate change that scientists say will make such droughts more common in the future, and you’ve got the recipe for a water obsession that threatens Vegas’ very existence.”

Read more: CNN