Managing Water Demands for a Rapidly Growing City in Semi-Arid Environment: Study of Las Vegas, Nevada

Document Type



This study evaluates the effect of climate change and population growth on the water supply and demand for Las Vegas Valley (LVV), located in semi-arid region in southern Nevada. Colorado River is main source of water supply for LVV. The impact of climate change on Colorado River flow was modeled using ensemble of projections from global climate models for different emission scenarios. Various scenarios of population growth and water conservation were evaluated for future. With the projected population growth and no demand management policies, the LVV would not be able to meet the water demand in the near future. With changing climate, water supply reliability also decreased significantly. However, with the combination of reduced population growth rate and water conservation policies, the Colorado River supply could meet the future demand of the LVV. The reduction in water demand in 2035 was estimated to be 30.6%, i.e., 327 million cubic meters (MCM) for ‘status quo’ population growth and 38%, i.e., 408 MCM for 50% of the projected growth.

Search your library