About

Learn about Southern Nevada Water Authority Investor Relations, including Key Projects and The Team.

Established
1991
Member Districts
7
Bonds Outstanding
$2.8 billion

About Southern Nevada Water Authority Investor Relations

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is a not-for-profit cooperative agency formed in 1991 to manage Southern Nevada's water needs on a regional basis.

The Water Authority provides wholesale water treatment and delivery for the greater Las Vegas Valley and is responsible for acquiring and managing the region’s current and future resources; constructing and managing regional water intake, treatment, and transmission facilities; and promoting water conservation.

Addressing Water Needs Well into the Future

The Water Authority has developed successful conservation programs to reduce Southern Nevada's consumption of Colorado River water, and emerged as an international leader in water quality research. Furthermore, the agency has strengthened partnerships along the Colorado River while expanding its water resource portfolio. The Water Authority remains committed to conservation, sustainability, diversifying resources and collaborations with all Colorado River users to address water needs for the region well into the future.

Facing the worst drought in the recorded history of the Colorado River system, the Water Authority and its member agencies have worked diligently since 2003 to maximize the availability of existing water supplies and reduce overall water demands. Through these efforts, the Water Authority created one of the most comprehensive and progressive water conservation programs in the nation and has ingrained the conservation ethic into the culture of Southern Nevada.

The organization has taken a scenario-based approach to water resource planning, focusing on permanent, temporary and future resources. The SNWA’s water resource portfolio includes a diverse set of resource options, as well as eight years of reserved supplies, to reliably meet the community's current and future water resource needs.

In 2008, the Water Authority embarked on a major effort to protect the community’s primary water supply and began building a third drinking water intake at Lake Mead. The intake tunnel, completed in 2015, will work in tandem with a low lake level pumping station currently under construction.

Governance and Member Organizations

The SNWA is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors comprised of representatives from each of its member organizations:

• Big Bend Water District

• Boulder City

• City of Henderson

• City of Las Vegas

• City of North Las Vegas

• Clark County Water Reclamation District

• Las Vegas Valley Water District

While the Board of Directors sets policy direction for the SNWA, the Las Vegas Valley Water District is responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization through an agreement between the SNWA member agencies.

Commitment to Energy Sustainability

While water is the organization’s focus, it takes considerable power to treat and pump water from Lake Mead to the Water Authority’s two water treatment facilities, and then up nearly 2,000 feet to the Las Vegas Valley. Committed to managing its power resources in an efficient and environmentally sensitive manner, the Water Authority is actively working to achieve 25 percent renewable power by 2025.

Key Projects

Southern Nevada Water Authority Projects Overview

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is responsible for managing the region's water resources and providing for Las Vegas Valley residents' and businesses' present and future water needs.

This includes establishing water conservation, sustainability and water-quality programs, acquiring and managing water resources and treating and transmitting water to member agencies.

To meet this responsibility, the SNWA is involved with a wide variety of projects, acquisitions, and initiatives addressing various objectives.


SYSTEM EXPANSIONS

System expansion projects generally comprise of new water facilities to meet anticipated future water demands and deliver water in areas that have yet to be constructed. They also consist of projects to increase our renewable energy resources and maximize the sustainable use of Colorado River water supplies. Major system expansion projects total approximately $1.9 billion and include:

  • The Horizon Lateral — a large transmission pipeline and related conveyance facilities to improve reliability and increase capacity for the southern portion of the Las Vegas Valley
  • Water and wastewater systems in Garnet Valley, an industrial complex just north of the Las Vegas Valley
  • A large-scale solar energy project

Southern Nevada's water system consists of intake, transmission, treatment and wastewater processes. Over the years, the SNWA has undertaken significant construction projects to ensure that these systems work as efficiently and effectively as possible.


WATER RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION

Water resource projects consist of resource acquisition and water conservation efforts that require capital funding but not necessarily the construction of facilities. One of the SNWA’s most critical long-term conservation investments, the Water Smart Landscapes rebate program, falls within this category. Major water resources and conservation components total approximately $1.1 billion and include:

  • Water resource development opportunities with other Colorado Basin states and Mexico
  • The Water Smart Landscapes rebate program
  • Virgin and Muddy River water resource acquisition
  • Water banking

SYSTEM MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADES

Ongoing investment in system repairs, maintenance efforts and upgrades are required to successfully maintain a world-class water system. These projects help ensure a safe and reliable water supply to Southern Nevada residents and businesses. These projects total approximately $213.3 million and include:

  • System reliability upgrades
  • Ozone equipment upgrades
  • Water treatment facility filter replacement
  • Construction of an in-valley maintenance shop
  • Upgrading enterprise asset management software
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system replacement
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Horizon Lateral

Approximately 40 percent of the residents and businesses in the southern portion of the Las Vegas Valley are currently served by the South Valley Lateral, which is projected to near capacity by 2034. The single-feed transmission lateral does not have redundant facilities to provide back-up water service to the area, highlighting the need for an additional lateral to ensure future reliability and system capacity.

To ensure system redundancy and reliability in the south part of the valley, and to support Southern Nevada’s economic development, the SNWA is developing plans for the Horizon Lateral, which will increase the transmission system capacity from the current 306 million gallons per day (MGD).

The Horizon Lateral project is expected to include:

  • Approximately 24 miles of pipeline ranging between 72 and 120 inches in diameter
  • Approximately 7 miles of tunneling
  • 2 Pump Stations
  • 40 Million Gallon Reservoir(s)
  • Rate-of-Flow Control Stations

The Horizon Lateral is estimated to cost approximately $1.6 billion and is estimated to be put into service in 2032.

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Future Water Resources

The SNWA is working to further diversify its water resource portfolio and has identified potential resource options, including investments in water recycling and/or desalination projects developed in partnership with other Colorado River Basin states. In these projects, SNWA would fund part of the construction of the facilities, or lease/purchase water produced by the facilities, in exchange for a portion of that partnering state’s Colorado River allocation. Projects under consideration include the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MET) Recycled Water Purification Center and the Yuma Desalting Plant in Arizona.

MET is pursuing a water recycling system that will safely and sustainably reuse treated wastewater from Los Angeles that is currently discharged to the Pacific Ocean. For our investment, Southern Nevada will receive a share of water from the project, which will be exchanged for a share of California’s Colorado River allocation at Lake Mead. This will increase Southern Nevada’s water supplies and provide additional water resources for the future.  

The SNWA also is considering supporting the retrofit of the Yuma Desalting Plant. Built in 1992 to treat agricultural runoff, the plant has operated only three times due to damage caused by a flood and lack of funding. SNWA may have the opportunity to participate in the plant’s repair and long-term operation, which could yield up to 30,000 acre-feet of water per year.

Unlike typical construction projects, these water resource acquisitions require negotiations with willing partners. The SNWA has approval to spend $587.7 million over the next ten years for future Colorado River resource acquisitions. Maintaining approved funding for these types of projects demonstrates that the SNWA is prepared to take action on valuable water resources when the opportunities arise.

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Water Smart Landscape Program Rebates

The Water Smart Landscapes (WSL) rebate program offers financial incentives to residential and commercial customers in the SNWA service area who replace water-thirsty grass with water-efficient landscaping. Since the majority of Southern Nevada’s water is used outdoors on landscaping, the WSL program targets the largest consumptive use of water.

The authorized spending can provide rebates for approximately 5 million square feet of nonfunctional turfgrass each year. To sustain results, participants in the program must grant a conservation easement that promises the project will be sustained in perpetuity.

The SNWA is authorized to spend approximately $152.3 million over the next 10 years on the WSL rebate program. In 2021, Nevada’s Governor signed a law prohibiting the use of Colorado River water to irrigate unused, decorative grass in Southern Nevada. This funding will be instrumental in helping commercial parks, HOAs and other property owners become compliance with the law and replace their water thirsty, unused turf.

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The Team

John Entsminger

General Manager

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Kevin Bethel

Chief Financial Officer

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Matt Chorpening

Financial Planning, Analysis, & Reporting Manager

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Tabitha Fiddyment

Director of Legal Services

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Tabitha Fiddyment
Richard Snelding

Assistant Treasurer

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