For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Water Science and Society Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.
Cities In Peril: Las Vegas
The Survival of Las Vegas
It's hard to think about Las Vegas without images of stereotypical excess: gambling, bachelor(ette) parties, luxurious hotels, swimming pools, golf in the desert, posh fountains, celebrities, major music and entertainment acts, and famous restaurateurs. On the one hand, it may seem incongruous that Las Vegas and the surrounding Clark County, which receive only 4 inches of rain per year on average and lie within one of the driest regions on Earth (Figure 5) (as discussed in Module 1), are also home to one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S. (Figure 6; See also the interactive link in the caption below). On the other hand, it may be surprising that Las Vegas is among the most water-conscious cities in the nation, and as discussed below, despite rapid economic and population growth over the past two to three decades the city has managed to live within the limits of its relatively meager allocation of water from the Colorado River, the main water source for the region (see Colorado River Compact).
Source: Map from the Pacific Institute, prepared by Matthew Heberger, 2013. Creative Commons License.
Source: Figure constructed using Google's public data analysis site
- A Familiar History of Water and Population Growth:
- Formative Assessment 1: Sustaining Las Vegas
- Current Water Use and Sources:
- Dealing With Water Scarcity: A Diversified Portfolio:
- Formative Assessment 2: Lake Mead and Las Vegas
- New Sources: Tapping Groundwater:
- Formative Assessment 3: Water Rights
- Water Banking
- The Third Straw