February 25, 2021
Like most of our partners on the Colorado River, Southern Nevada devoted much of 2020 responding to the extraordinary circumstances and conditions brought on by COVID-19
Thanks to a well-crafted Pandemic Readiness and Response Plan, that had been in place and tested for more than a decade and an agile staff that transitioned extraordinarily well to remote work, Southern Nevada continued regional water service without disruption. In the early weeks of the pandemic, with additional safety protocols already in place to protect operating and distribution systems, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) assured the Southern Nevada region they could rely on the delivery of a safe, reliable water supply.
SNWA researchers also intensified water-quality testing and analysis. Their groundbreaking research revealed that genetic markers of COVID-19 could be detected in wastewater before the water is treated but are removed during the treatment process. These findings were shared, as part of testimony on Capitol Hill, to the benefit of water agencies in other communities.
The SNWA is currently working to achieve its new conservation goal of 105 GPCD by 2035. We look to achieve further conservation gains in Southern Nevada by focusing on consumptive water-use reductions associated with non-functional turf, landscape watering, customer leaks and evaporative cooling use.
In April, construction was completed on the Low Lake Level Pumping Station at Lake Mead, ensuring water delivery even during extremely low reservoir conditions. Completion of the $650 million project, which connects to Lake Mead’s Third Intake, marked a major milestone in providing local water security.
As the year comes to a close, SNWA is considering a partnership with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in the development a Regional Recycled Water Purification Center that would significantly expand reuse of water resources in Southern California. Southern Nevada will continue to seek out these types of innovative collaborations and exchanges along the Colorado River Basin.