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Vegas, Nevada – The drought in the West has become so bad that corpses, World War II boats, and other artifacts reappear in Lake Mead, about 30 miles off the Las Vegas Strip.
When the water dries up, the so-called “water police” go after anyone who wastes it.
Water waste investigators with Las Vegas Valley Water County patrol roads and neighborhoods every day looking for violations such as broken sprinklers and excessive watering.
40 countries witness at least moderate drought.
Nevada It took action, the first of its kind in the country, to limit the consequences.
A new law bans non-functional grass, or decorative grass just as in some office buildings and along sidewalks.
“If the only person standing on the lawn is pushing the lawn mower, it probably isn’t working, so the grass that you see in business parks like this, no one is going to do that,” said JC Davis, director of enterprise preservation for Southern Nevada Water. Take a walk here.” Salad. “The only reason I’m standing on it is because we’re doing an interview.”
Functional turf is often found in parks and schools, for example.
Sports stadiums, cemeteries and most residential properties are exempt from the ban.
But about 70 percent of homes have voluntarily removed their lawns, replacing them with artificial grass or desert-friendly plants that don’t require much water.
“When you have real grass here in the front yards here in Las Vegas, they don’t serve much of a purpose,” said Cameron Donnarumma, a water waste investigator. “I’ll see a yard (full of grass), and then a few weeks later I’ll see everything torn up, so I think we’re making a huge difference.”
If homeowners decide to switch to desert landscaping, they can take a $3 per square foot discount.
Most violations that the patrol team sees result in warnings rather than fines.
The Las Vegas Water Valley area conducted 7,433 investigations Via Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson. This resulted in 6,345 notices and 951 notices of violation or fine.
“If you live in Georgia, you are going to take action to prevent flooding, and if you are in Miami, you know you are going to be taking action to prevent hurricanes,” Davis said. “Well, water scarcity is our natural disaster here.”
Los Angeles is another great western city Using water patrol teams.
During the first six months of this year, the city received 1,643 reports of water wastage, which is more than double the same period last year, according to Crosstown, a non-profit news organization It is based at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism.
589 calls were made in June, the highest recorded total that surpassed the previous record from May 2021 with 314 calls.
In addition to Los Angeles’ two-day irrigation schedule, the city has water enforcers that may place flow-restricting devices on homes that have used more than 150% of their permitted four-month water use.
Meanwhile, officials in Las Vegas voted this week to limit the size of newly built swimming pools — another step to prevent the water crisis from worsening.
Conservation in Southern Nevada goes beyond turning off the tap when brushing your teeth or showering for a shorter period. Doing these things does not increase the water supply because all inland water is recycled.
“Whether it’s in a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip or in your home or in a mall, if it drains, it’s sent to one of the many water reclamation facilities where it’s treated,” Davis said.
It eventually makes its way back to Lake Mead. But outside water is a different story.
Streams save billions of gallons of water, far more than people indoors making thoughtful, but small, changes.
Binoculars like the Bellagio fountains use special groundwater rights dating back to the 1950s, so reducing water use in this way wouldn’t help either.
What is working in the West now is to send water cops and get rid of the lawn.
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