Friday, July 27, 2007

Lake Mead goes down, grass comes out

One look at this startling picture from Lake Mead near the Hoover Dam, and you can see why Las Vegas has no future. This very interesting story from the NYT is about how Las Vegas and the Southern Nevada Water Authority are paying current residents to tear up their lawns and replace it with more sensible xeriscaping that uses little to no water, while also making new development grass-free, due to the massive water shortage that the region is facing (and won't end anytime soon).

According to the story, watering lawns and gardens represents 60% of the water usage in Las Vegas, which is actually more than what the casinos use on the Strip and in the grandiose founatins. Lake Mead is at 2/3 of its normal level, and with drought conditions persisting and not going away anytime soon, all of the new development out west that survives based on cheap land, cheap gasoline, abundant energy to air condition it 10 months of the year, and abundant water will soon come to a crashing halt.

On a related note, during the timeshare presentation last weekend we attended to pay for our weekend away, our very nice saleslady told us we should visit Vegas sometime on a vacation, because "the architecture was so wonderful. I mean, it's like you're really in Venice, or New York, or Paris".