weather icon Clear

EDITORIAL: Boulder City water recycling is long overdue

The Water Police driving around the Las Vegas area looking for residential water waste should have spent more time in Boulder City.

Southern Nevada has water issues. Lake Mead’s bathtub ring is a miles-long visual reminder of the ongoing drought. There are restrictions in Clark County on watering and planting grass. There have been cuts to Nevada’s meager allocation from Lake Mead.

In July, the Clark County Commission voted to limit the size of pools at new single-family residences. New pools must be no bigger than about 600 square feet. Boulder City followed suit in August. The reasoning is that larger pools lose more water to evaporation. Water officials projected the new restrictions will save 3.2 million gallons of water a year.

That’s about what Boulder City lets evaporate in four or five days.

Throughout the Las Vegas Valley, most indoor water is returned to Lake Mead. This provides the Southern Nevada Water Authority with water credits. For every gallon returned, it earns the right to withdraw another gallon. This recycling system is why there is enough water for growth and development, but not grass. The reclaimed water extends the amount of the precious resource that is available to Southern Nevada. But the water used outside can’t be recycled. Much of it is lost after one use.

Water recycling has been common practice for decades, but not in Boulder City. There, used indoor water is treated lightly and mostly pumped into evaporation ponds. As the name suggests, that water is then lost. Last year, evaporation claimed 250 million gallons.

There’s no need for this. The water authority is willing to pay $26 million to build a pipeline to Henderson’s water treatment plant. That would allow Boulder City’s water to be returned to Lake Mead.

A second option would allow the city to use it for irrigation, reducing how much new water the city needs.

Fortunately, new Boulder City Mayor Joe Hardy and council members sound receptive to this plan.

“It’s a one-time fix that the SNWA will pay for and we would not have ongoing expenses,” Mr. Hardy said. He added, “It won’t be any skin off our nose to have the water go over the hill (to Henderson) and be used like all other water in the valley.”

This should have been done years ago, but that’s water under the figurative bridge. Boulder City officials shouldn’t waste any time implementing this plan.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Mayor’s example serves us well

If you missed Mayor Joe Hardy’s first State of the City address last Thursday, you missed a fun event.

COVID complicates raising children

Millennial parents have been thrown some curveballs as we’ve transitioned into parenting. The largest and most unprecedented curveball was a global pandemic that shut down all schools, day cares, public parks, events and any other community support that most parents relied on for educating and entertaining their children.

Parent’s duties never end

Call it the Mom Gene — or better yet the Parent Gene.

Need for B Hill bollards baffling

Leslie and I sometimes go jogging to exercise. Actually, it’s more like shuffling. But when you’re old enough to get the senior discount at Denny’s, any locomotion means it’s a good day.

Hate, hateful actions must be stopped

Just when I was starting to get hopeful that the spirit of the holiday season would linger into the new year, bringing more joy and kindness to the community, several incidents quickly soured that idea.

New year brings new big innings

As we swing into the new year — ready or not — I’ll use a baseball analogy. We are in the top of the first inning just after the ceremonial first pitch from Father Time. Or, Mother Time identifying as Father Time. You know, it is 2023.

Season brings out best in people

There’s just something about December that tends to bring out the good in people. They seem to smile more and think about others more.

Nevada’s water proposal deserves good long look

The Department of Interior has shied away from imposing a comprehensive conservation plan on Colorado River users, preferring instead that the seven states involved hash out their own agreement to address shortages tied to drought and overallocation.

’Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. Though my holiday baking has since expanded into the entire month of December so that more family and friends can enjoy the fruits of my labor, the true spirit of the message remains. I promise to stay knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, and wish all a sweet holiday season and new year.

City’s Christmas spirit magical

December may be my favorite month. There is something about the holiday season that melts away the responsibilities and pain points of everyday life. Even now that I’m an adult and I’ve peeked behind the curtain of what makes the “magic” of Christmas, I can still appreciate the familiar trappings and wonderment of the holiday season. And I truly believe that nowhere does Christmas quite like Boulder City.