Perilous new Vegas water pipeline claims a life - BusinessWeek: Ninety percent of Las Vegas water currently comes from Lake Mead, which has shrunk in recent years due to ongoing drought and increasing demand from seven states and more than 25 million people sharing Colorado River water rights under agreements dating to 1922.
The water authority is aggressively working on other ways to ensure a future water supply for Las Vegas' nearly 2 million residents and more than 40 million annual visitors. One is a controversial plan to build a $3.5 billion, 300-mile surface pipeline to pump billions of gallons of water south to Las Vegas from rural areas along the Nevada-Utah border.
In a city that averages just over four inches of rain per year, officials say they have no choice but to press on with the Lake Mead project. It promises to ensure the ability to fetch water no matter how low the reservoir gets.
Looking forward, will Las Vegas have enough water to serve its casinos, fountains and golf courses that form the bedrock of its tourism-based economy as well as massive common interest developments built during the housing boom?