InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Water Science and Society > Student Materials > Module 8.1: Cities in Peril: Dealing with Water Scarcity – History and Current Approaches > Cities In Peril: Las Vegas > New Sources: Tapping Groundwater:
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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New Sources: Tapping Groundwater:

Despite a history of overdraft in Las Vegas itself, Southern Nevada has recently turned its eyes back to the underground as an additional water source – but this time in sparsely populated valleys to the North and Northeast of Clark County (Figure13). The rationale for the SNWA's "Groundwater Development Project" is that groundwater recharge is partly a function of the area over which infiltration occurs, so distributed withdrawals of groundwater from several large valley fill aquifers outside of Las Vegas may be more sustainable than focused withdrawals from only the local aquifer system. Additionally, the targeted aquifers are in sparsely populated areas, with relatively small water demand.

Nonetheless, as you might imagine, there has been strong opposition to the plan from both environmental groups and ranchers and residents of these valleys, especially when considering past examples of annexation of water rights for large cities (e.g., Los Angeles and the Owens Valley) and the negative outcomes for the local communities.


These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »