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.
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.
Source: USGS Water Sources of the Basin and Range