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

Member Districts
Bonds Outstanding
$3.2 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 Water Authority is involved with a wide variety of projects, acquisitions, and initiatives addressing various objectives.

Water System Projects

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

Water Resources

The Water Authority has worked diligently to maximize existing water resources available to the Las Vegas Valley through conservation programs, water banking, and a Groundwater Management Program.

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Third Drinking Water Intake at Lake Mead

To address unprecedented drought conditions and provide long-term protection of Southern Nevada's primary water storage reservoir—Lake Mead—the Southern Nevada Water Authority constructed a third drinking water intake capable of drawing upon Colorado River water at lake elevations below 1,000 feet.

The third intake ensures system capacity if lake levels fall low enough to render SNWA's existing intake system inoperable. It also will protect municipal water customers from water quality issues associated with declining lake levels.

The construction of Intake No. 3 began in 2008 and was an enormous project involving a tunnel boring machine chewing through solid rock underneath Lake Mead and an intake structure two and a half miles offshore. More than 1,000 concrete truck loads were transported to the intake site on 143 barge trips.

Intake No. 3 began conveying water to the Water Authority’s Alfred Merritt Smith and River Mountains water treatment facilities in September 2015.

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Low Lake Level Pumping Station at Lake Mead

Lake Mead water levels have dropped more than 130 feet since the drought began in 2000. As lake levels continue to fall, the Water Authority is building a low lake level pumping station to ensure Southern Nevada maintains access to its primary water supplies in Lake Mead.

Development of the pumping station consists of constructing a 26-foot-diameter access shaft more than 500 feet deep. At the bottom of the access shaft, a 12,500-square-foot underground cavern is being excavated. The cavern (known as a forebay) will connect with 34 vertical shafts — each 500 feet deep and 6 feet in diameter — to accommodate the station’s 34 submersible pumping units. From the forebay, water will be pumped to the two water treatment facilities.

Paired with the third drinking water intake, the low lake level pumping station will preserve existing capacity and will allow the SNWA to pump water even if Lake Mead drops so low that Hoover Dam cannot generate electricity.

The $650-million project broke ground in mid-2015 and is scheduled for completion in 2020.

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Water Treatment Facilities

Nearly 90 percent of Southern Nevada’s drinking water comes from the Colorado River via Lake Mead. Once drawn from the lake, water is sent to one of two state-of-the-art water treatment facilities:

Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility

Built in 1971, the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility currently treats most of the valley's drinking water. It has the capacity to be able to treat 600 million gallons a day.

In 2003, the addition of ozone treatment put the facility on the cutting-edge of water treatment technology.

River Mountains Water Treatment Facility

The River Mountains Water Treatment Facility began delivering treated water to the Las Vegas valley in 2002 and provides additional reliability and capacity to Southern Nevada's municipal water treatment and distribution capabilities.

Currently, the facility can treat up to 300 million gallons of water per day, but it was designed to expand to meet Southern Nevada's needs. In the future, the River Mountains facility will be able to treat up to 600 million gallons of water a day.

Current projects include repairs and upgrades to buildings, filter systems, large-diameter valves, and motors.

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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

Assistant Chief Financial Officer

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Tabitha Fiddyment

Director of Legal Services

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Tabitha Fiddyment
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