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Damper needed on new construction

Several months ago, the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, visited the Lake Mead National Recreation Area area to bring to the nation’s attention the significance of the drought situation in the West. I applaud her for bringing this critical drought circumstance to the forefront.

However, I find it fascinating that the thrust of her conversation was to sell us on the Biden multi-trillion infrastructure bill that has very little to do with the lack of water in Lake Mead. At least, the optics were good.

While I commend our city manager, Taylour Tedder, in his efforts to review the city’s code concerning landscape requirements that would regulate future water usage, every gallon his strategy saves is quickly evaporated by new construction.

Recently, a story concerning Lake Mead’s water level forecast suggests we are looking at an additional 32-foot drop by 2023. Gee, I wonder why. Do you think it has anything to do with the unabated growth in development? Everyone needs to understand the importance of conserving our water supply. However, I find it intriguing that while we encourage homeowners and businesses to curtail water usage to a minimum, the construction of homes and commercial properties continues.

As we travel through some parts of Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas and especially North Las Vegas, the development is full speed ahead. Take a look at the Lake Las Vegas area; the number of homes under construction is astonishing. North Las Vegas is booming with home production, not to mention the many industrial complexes being completed.

Both Mesquite and St. George townships depend heavily on the Colorado River system to sustain their growth. While we scale back our water usage by removing turf, installing desert landscaping, taking shorter showers and amending our lifestyle to change the amount of water we consume individually, homes by the thousands that guzzle an average of 300 gallons per day on average are erected. These local efforts help the cause of water conservation minimally but collectively can make a big difference, so it seems.

As each individual takes a few steps forward in conservation, our authorities allow continued home construction which takes us back a few thousand steps. Just imagine for a moment that you re-landscaped your entire yard at great expense, installed low-flow toilets, bathed briefer, adjusted every aspect of water consumption you can think of, and learned that a thousand homes were being built next door. Wouldn’t that make you think twice about the actual seriousness of the so-called drought?

Why isn’t there a moratorium on new construction if a water shortage is a significant concern? It seems to me that a severe water shortage may just be a ruse; otherwise, why would thousands of new homes be built? If there is a critical water deficiency, and I believe there is, then new construction should be paused until this shortage is remedied. Doesn’t that make sense?

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

G. Kevin Savord is currently a professional pilot and former small business owner. He can be reached at gksavord@gmail.com.

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