This report from NPR looks at the city of Las Vegas, the high value of water in the desert, and the water chief who is trying to control the growing city's consumption.
"Mulroy says she found a city in desert denial."
"'The valley was predominantly quarter-acre lots or larger, completely surrounded by grass,' she says. 'And we had consumption around 340 to 350 per capita.' That's 350 gallons per person, per day - almost twice the water consumption in New York City. And New York receives 10 times the moisture of Las Vegas."
"In the early 1990s, new attractions appeared on the Vegas Strip. The Mirage Resort had a volcano spewing water and fire. New residential developments sprouted up around the city, with acres of manicured and irrigated lawns. One was called "The Lakes," and featured homes around three miles of artificial shoreline. Dozens of golf courses soaked up millions of gallons of water each day."
"Into that scene of conspicuous consumption came the new water chief, Pat Mulroy. She immediately issued a moratorium on new water hook-ups."