Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev., has lost its water supply, according to a report by KLAS-TV. But a solution is already on tap, a real estate developer assures the TV station.
Lake Las Vegas is the sparkling centerpiece of a wealthy resort community two miles west of Lake Mead. The still-developing enclave includes the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, a golf course, restaurants, and thousands of multimillion-dollar homes, including singer Celine Dion’s.
It was initially filled using 3 billion gallons of water diverted from the primary channel that returns the region’s excess water to Lake Mead. But Lake Las Vegas has had to be continually fed by an intake pipe from Lake Mead to avoid evaporating.
From July 2020 to June 2021 alone, that pipe supplied 1.3 billion gallons of water to Lake Las Vegas.
Dealing With Drought
Because of the severe drought in the Southwest caused by diminished Rocky Mountain snowmelt into the Colorado River, Lake Mead’s water level plummeted from 1,220 feet in 1999 to 1,041 feet earlier this month. Since Lake Las Vegas’ intake pipe sits at 1,050 feet above the bottom of Lake Mead, it can no longer draw water.
The development was conceived more than 50 years ago by actor J. Carlton Adair, who bought the land and the water rights to develop what he planned to call Lake Adair.
That was before he declared bankruptcy in 1972. Following another failed attempt by the Pacific Malibu Development Corp., the land was acquired in 1990 by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Transcontinental Corp., which paid tens of millions of dollars to develop it into a recreation of Italy’s Lake Como.
No Need For Panic, Yet
According to the KLAS-TV report, Basic Water Company, which had been operating the pipe, saw the writing on the wall and ceased operations on July 1.
But there is no cause for alarm, at least not according to one Lake Las Vegas developer. She told KLAS-TV that a different set of pipes is already in place and ready to feed the lake from the city of Henderson’s water supply.
In a recent statement, Cody Winterton, president of Raintree Investment Corporation, admitting that the crisis occurred about two months sooner than expected, said the paperwork for the new water deal should be finalized within two to three weeks.
“Lake Las Vegas is a customer of the city of Henderson and has a commitment from the city to provide water to maintain the lake,” Winterton said.
A city of Henderson spokesperson told KLAS-TV that Lake Las Vegas prepared in advance to weather the interruption. They did so by pumping an additional 200 million gallons of water into the lake during the transition.
How long-term this solution will remain to be seen.
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