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Southern California is Going to Borrow Drought Water From Las Vegas of All Places

Los Angeles continues to fret over its water supply amid a years-long drought, and it seems that no solution is off the table. The latest drought-busting scheme is apparently to borrow water from Las Vegas. Yeah, golf courses in the desert, dancing fountains in front of casinos, Las Vegas. The Southern Nevada Water Authority approved a $45-million "water banking" deal that would send 150,000 acre-feet of water (48 billion gallons) from Lake Mead to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California reports KPCC.

According to MWD Chief Jeffrey Kightlinger, 19 million Southern California customers would use the water during times of drought. Then, when water supplies are back to normal, California would "return it, bucket for bucket, when Las Vegas needs it back." No specifics were given as to when Las Vegas might "need it back" nor was there any mention of what would happen if California couldn't repay. There was no talk of inflated interest rates or hired goons to muscle LA into paying back the debt, but we are borrowing from Las Vegas here.

Las Vegas water chief John Entsminger has no problem with losing that much water for a while. Water use in Vegas has declined by nearly one-third since 2002. The deal goes up for a vote by the Metropolitan district board on Monday and Tuesday.

The takeaway? A desert oasis in Nevada has plenty of water apparently, and Los Angeles is turning to Las Vegas for a quick fix to it's dire situation. What could go wrong?—Jeff Wattenhofer
Vegas water managers OK water deal with Los Angeles agency [KPCC]
· The Terrifying Stats on Just How Dry Los Angeles Has Been the Past Few Years [Curbed LA]