Low water supplies are forcing changes to the growth patterns of booming Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Built in a desert, Las Vegas has long seemed an unlikely place for a major American city. Yet the Las Vegas region is booming: Its population is 1.9 million, up nearly 50 percent since 1999, amid an expanding tourism and casino business."
"At the same time, the West has suffered a sustained drought, with the Colorado River supplying less water to Lake Mead, which serves Nevada, California, Arizona and Mexico. The lake created by Hoover Dam provides 90 percent of Vegas water and stands less than half full."
"Las Vegas is adjusting by more efficiently using its current supplies and is planning to build a $2.5 billion to $3 billion pipeline to bring aquifer water from a remote part of Nevada by 2015, said Pat Mulroy, long-time head of the Las Vegas Valley Water District."
"She disagrees that Vegas, where on average four inches of rain falls each year, is growing too fast for its water. 'We like every other Western city are going through a shift in how we use water resources,' she said in an interview. 'It is sustainable for the next 50 to 80 years.'"