Document Type


Publication Date



The Southern Nevada Water Project, a water supply system for the Las Vegas area, was authorized by the Acts of October 22, 1965, and July 19, 1966 (Public Laws 89-292 and 89-510). These acts authorized staged development. The first stage, completed in 1971, consists of intake facilities at Lake Mead, eight pumping plants, a main aqueduct 2-1/2-miles long, a 4-mile-long tunnel, and 30 miles of pipelines and laterals. The State of Nevada constructed the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility in conjunction with the first stage. The first stage system has the capacity to deliver 132,200 acre-feet per year.

The second stage consists of five new pumping plants, modifications to four existing first stage pumping plants, a 2.5-mile-long second barrel to the main aqueduct installed beside the first stage, and 30 miles of new aqueduct and pipelines with a capacity of 166,800 acre-feet per year. The State of Nevada plans a major expansion of the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility in conjunction with the second stage.

The second stage will cause a slight deterioration in the water quality of return flows from the Las Vegas area to Lake Mead. It will temporarily disturb 188 acres of vegetation and wildlife habitat and eliminate 12 acres. The project will employ about 100 people for construction and 20 people for the operation and maintenance. Operation of the second stage will require a maximum annual power supply of 280 million kWh. The second stage will deliver enough water to accommodate a population of 750,000. Population growth will further deteriorate the air quality, will require more land for urban development, and additional municipal services.


Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility; Municipal water supply; Nevada--Las Vegas Valley; Population--Environmental aspects; Water-supply--Planning; Water treatment plants


Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Natural Resource Economics | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Sustainability | Water Resource Management