Once upon a time, a lot of gangsters got together and built some casinos in the middle of a desert. For inexplicable reasons, these casinos were allowed to flourish into a major metropolitan area: Las Vegas. Now, that city is staring down a dry, waterless future.
Without knowing our nation's predilections for gambling and gangsterism, one might wonder why the hell we would decide to build a popular and flourishing major metropolitan area in the middle of a parched desert during a time of global warming and water crises. (The answer, of course, is "We are dumb.") In the L.A. Times today, John Glionna examines the future of Las Vegas' rapidly dwinding water supply. Virtually every single fact in the story is capable of producing a sense of despair mixed with wonder at the profound lack of foresight displayed by everyone responsible for Vegas' existence. Nine tenths of the city's water comes from Lake Mead, which one quoted researchers says has a 50/50 chance of being completely tapped out by 2036. A few Vegas water lowlights:
-"Las Vegas uses more water per capita than most communities in America — 219 gallons of water per person every day — and charges less for it than many communities." HMM.
- "[Rational people] say the city has been cavalier about looming water shortages, pointing to projects such as Lake Las Vegas, a 320-acre artificial oasis built with man-made rivers and waterfalls amid the high-end homes and luxury resorts."
-"About 70% of Las Vegas water goes to lawns, public parks and golf courses."
Nothing can happen to Las Vegas that Las Vegas does not deserve.