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Water Innovation In America’s Driest State45:29
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Can the thirstiest city in the driest state in the country become the Silicon Valley of water? Las Vegas is set to try.

FILE - In this April 15, 2015 file photo, a man takes a picture of the fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The vice president of sustainability for MGM Resorts International, Chris Brophy, told a panel of the Nevada Drought Forum on Friday, July 17, the company saved 2 billion gallons of water since 2008 through a variety of conservation efforts. (AP Photo/John Locher,File)
FILE - In this April 15, 2015 file photo, a man takes a picture of the fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The vice president of sustainability for MGM Resorts International, Chris Brophy, told a panel of the Nevada Drought Forum on Friday, July 17, the company saved 2 billion gallons of water since 2008 through a variety of conservation efforts. (AP Photo/John Locher,File)

Las Vegas is the thirstiest city in the driest state in the nation. You may think of Oceans Eleven, glam swimming pools, magnificent floodlit fountains at the Bellagio. But Las Vegas gets four inches of rainfall a year. It’s part of the dry American West and dry world, where water issues are paramount and the water future can be scary. Now Vegas is positioning itself as an epicenter of water use and technology innovation. This hour On Point: water lessons from dry, dry Las Vegas.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

T.R. Goldman, freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. He reports on healthcare, infrastructure, and politics. Read his piece for Politico: Las Vegas Is Betting It Can Become the Silicon Valley of Water. (@trgoldman)

Nate Allen, executive director of WaterStart, a water technology incubator in Nevada.

Brian Richter, chief scientist of the water program at the Nature Conservancy.

From Tom's Reading List

Las Vegas Is Betting It Can Become the Silicon Valley of Water — "If Las Vegas is the most profligate place on earth, where chance is king and the future is routinely gambled away, it is also possibly the most frugal and forward-looking American city in one respect: water. And now it’s trying to leverage that reputation by turning itself into a hub for new and innovative water technology." (POLITICO)

Water in Vegas Stays in Vegas — "Frugality is not a word that comes to mind when thinking about Las Vegas. But the city is proving to be one of the most sophisticated in the country when it comes to water preservation—and we're not just talking about its years-long ban on front lawns. As T.R. Goldman describes in his article for Politico Magazine,Sin City is rapidly becoming a hub for water technology innovation." (POLITICO)

A day in the life of a Las Vegas water cop — "Las Vegas can credit its water frugality to a combination of fines, rigorous enforcement, generous grass-removal incentives and aggressive education campaigns. Developers aren’t allowed to build homes with grass in the front yards, and golf courses pay huge penalties when they exceed their water budgets. Conservation ads have featured a man getting kicked in the groin for spraying too much water on his lawn." (The Desert Sun)

This program aired on April 27, 2016.

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