Water shortage
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Water shortage a growing concern for Las Vegas

Water shortage at Nevada’s Lake Mead are continuing to worry environmental campaigners

The lake’s highest water levels this year have been measured as 1,108 feet, but it is expected to reach its lowest ever levels this month, as it was reported that it has now sunk to 1,082 feet. At 1,075 feet, a water shortage can be officially declared.

The levels are of particular concern for residents and visitors to Las Vegas, which receives 90% of its water supply from the lake. Recent studies have shown that on a typical day in Las Vegas, the average person consumes 219 gallons of water, 70% of which goes towards maintaining lawns, public parks and golf courses.

Experts have predicted that the lake could dry out as soon as 2036 if Las Vegas’ residents continue to consume at their current rate. Though the lake hasn’t reached its lowest level since 2010, when it measured at 1,081, it does beggar the question as what we are now going to do to combat the effects of global warming, particularly in the gaming industry.

The outlook isn’t completely bleak for the environment however, particularly where the gambling industry is concerned. Many measures have been implemented to ensure that casinos are reducing their carbon footprint, with whole organizations being set up to monitor green activity.

Initiatives such as the Casino Green Program are doing their bit for the environment by providing energy efficient upgrades to make sure the minimal power output is consumed while temperatures fluctuate in California.

Meanwhile, even casino suppliers are now going green. EGM Green claims to be the first company to develop environmentally friendly casino tables, seating and luxury lounge furniture. One of the company’s core principles is making sure its products have no gas or chemical run off, with all furniture made in ‘green factories.’

To combat the problem in Lake Mead, plans were put in place in 2012 to pump 84,000 acre feet of water into the lake, though this has attracted wide scale criticism.

While many initiatives have now been put in place to greatly reduce the casino carbon footprint, it is also down to today’s consumers to do their part. One way in which this can be done is to forgo land-based casinos in favor of online casinos. Many of today’s casinos are now offering this alternative to improve their public image, and if the growing trend continues, Lake Mead could soon see its levels rising.

Let’s just hope these initiatives have been put in place in time. Steve Erickson, coordinator for the Great Basin Water Network, Utah, said: “At some point, you have to live within your means, but that doesn’t fit with the image of Las Vegas.”

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