Southern Nevada has enough water | LETTER

The top of water intake valve No. 1 is now visible in Lake Mead. (Southern Nevada Water Authority)

We are in the midst of a terrible drought, and Lake Mead is dropping. There are valid concerns about our water supply. But many people who have commented here about restricting development do not understand our situation. We have the water we need.

There are two components of our water use, indoor and agricultural.

Indoor use includes home, office, retail business, hotels, restaurants and most manufacturing. According to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, 99 percent of the water used indoors is returned to the lake. We can and do reuse this water over and over. It does not count against our allocation.

Agriculture includes not only farms, which are few here, but yard grass, decorative landscaping, plant nurseries, our parks and golf courses. This is where we “use” water. Once used it is removed from our local water cycle and is gone.

Banning new development will not work. There is no way to stop people from moving here. Scarcity of housing leads to social problems such as unaffordable housing and homelessness. We need affordable housing to have a viable community. Construction is a vital part of our economy.

With effective water use policies we can continue to physically and economically grow. But public cooperation is needed. It is estimated that only half the people follow the watering schedule for their homes. There is enough water to grow if we do not waste it.