Future Water Resources

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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.