Learn about SNWA projects that receive debt financing.

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 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 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


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

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.

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.

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.

Garnet Valley Water and Wastewater Systems

The Apex Industrial Park is one of Southern Nevada’s largest industrial parks located in Garnet Valley in North Las Vegas. The 16-parcel industrial park includes more than 11,000 acres and is attracting technology- and manufacturing-based businesses.

When completed, the Garnet Valley Water System will support the water needs of the industrial area. The Garnet Valley Water System will consist of facilities to support supplying 20 million gallons per day (MGD) at full build-out and includes:

  • 18 miles of pipeline, 16 inches to 36 inches in diameter
  • 1 reservoir (4 million gallons)
  • 3 pumping stations with a capacity of 5 MGD
  • 2 forebays
  • 2 Rate-of-Flow Control Stations (20 MGD total)

Southern Nevada maximizes its water resources by treating and recycling 99 percent of the water used indoors in its service area. Treating wastewater and returning it to Lake Mead extends the availability of our water resources through return-flow credits.

Construction of the Garnet Valley Wastewater System will help ensure the sustainable development of resources and reduce water demand impacts to the Colorado River. The wastewater project will support the SNWA’s efforts to maximize our water resources by developing the infrastructure required to capture indoor wastewater from the Garnet Valley area and transport it to existing treatment facilities in accordance with SNWA’s out-of-valley water use policy. The project consists of:

  • 5 wastewater lift stations
  • 43 miles of wastewater pipeline from 8 inches to 48 inches in diameter
  • 8 miles of force main pipe from 14 inches to 30 inches in diameter

The Garnet Valley Water System is estimated to cost $129.8 million with completion in 2028. The Garnet Valley Wastewater System is estimated to cost $120.0 million with completion in 2027.