U.S. Water News Online
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Las Vegas Valley Water District's
(LVVWD) artificial recharge program is drawing attention from water
purveyors as far as China and The Netherlands. A recent delegation of
government officials and scientists from Holland toured LVVWD
facilities that support the world's largest injection-based
artificial recharge program.
Beginning in 1987, the LVVWD began storing surplus treated water
from the Colorado River in the principal aquifer underlying most of
the Las Vegas Valley. During 1999, 32,000 acre-feet of water were
injected into the aquifer, maximizing use of the Colorado River
allocation and helping to stabilize declining water tables. To date,
the district and neighboring City of North Las Vegas have combined to
recharge more than 210,00 acre-feet -- approximately 68 billion
gallons of water into the principal aquifer.
"Artificial recharge by deep well injection is beneficial both in
terms of providing potable water storage and reducing water delivery
costs," said LVVWD General Manager Patricia Mulroy. "It allows
communities such as ours that have dramatic seasonal ranges in water
consumption to optimize available water resources."
Since 1990, the principal aquifer levels have risen as much as 60
to 80 feet in areas adjacent to artificial recharge operations. LVVWD
hydrologists constantly monitor both the principal and shallow
aquifers to more fully understand the impact of artificial recharge.
"We're happy to be able to share what we've learned with
communities throughout the region and throughout the world," Mulroy
said. "Availability of potable water is among the 21st century's
emerging challenges. We must all work together to develop long-term
solutions that will meet our communities' water resource needs."
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