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March 2016 Water Update from John J. Entsminger
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Southern Nevada’s water quality is a top priority


Recent news about the lead contamination issues affecting water customers in Flint, Michigan, reinforces the importance of safe drinking water standards. While Southern Nevada’s water infrastructure does not employ lead-based components, the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s (SNWA) advanced treatment technology and round-the-clock monitoring help ensure that water coming out of your tap meets safe drinking water standards.

Last year, SNWA water quality scientists conducted 333,700 analyses on 33,476 water samples from throughout the valley.  

As part of our commitment to safeguarding and ensuring the delivery of high-quality drinking water, local water providers, including SNWA, maintain robust corrosion-control programs that were developed in coordination with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

These corrosion-control efforts, which are a fundamental component of municipal water delivery, were severely lacking in the case of the Flint water system. Corrosion control helps maintain water quality by preventing possible contaminants from leaching into the water system. Inhibiting the corrosion process also helps extend the life of underground pipes, valves and other critical water delivery infrastructure. 

With SNWA’s advanced water treatment processes, drinking water provided to customers throughout Southern Nevada meets or surpasses all state and federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

For more information about the quality of Southern Nevada’s drinking water visit the Water Quality section of snwa.com. Find a link to your water agency’s water quality report on the SNWA website. 

Apex Industrial Park moves forward


With an eye toward diversifying Nevada’s economy, state lawmakers recently concluded a special legislative session that cleared the way for the development of Southern Nevada’s largest industrial complex, known as the Apex Industrial Park.
 
Located in Garnet Valley about 20 miles northeast of the Las Vegas metro area, Apex Industrial Park is currently home to a number of power plants and light manufacturing businesses. Throughout the next year, electric car company Faraday Future plans to construct a 3-million-square-foot assembly plant within the park.
 
SNWA is engineering a water system to meet the park’s current and future water demands. Through SNWA’s progressive water resource planning efforts, water supplies are available to support the park’s water needs without affecting water service reliability to any existing water users or customers. 
 
Groundwater resources from within Garnet Valley will serve as the park’s sole water supply until conditions warrant the extension of a municipal pipeline to the area. SNWA also coordinated with the Nevada State Engineer’s office to temporarily transfer a portion of its unused groundwater rights for use within the industrial park.

Low lake level pumping station breaks ground


The ongoing drought in the Colorado River Basin has caused Lake Mead’s water level to fall approximately 130 feet over the past 16 years. To ensure that our community maintains access to its primary water supply, SNWA recently completed construction of Intake No. 3—SNWA’s deepest water intake in Lake Mead—and major construction activities have begun on a low lake level pumping station.

Together, Intake No. 3 and the low lake level pumping station will enable SNWA to pump water from much deeper within the lake. Even if the lake’s water level drops too low for water to pass through Hoover Dam to downstream users in Arizona, California and Mexico, the new intake system enables Southern Nevada to maintain access to its primary water supplies in Lake Mead.

Development of the pumping station consists of constructing a 26-foot-diameter access shaft more than 500 feet deep. At the bottom of the access shaft, a 12,500-square-foot underground cavern will be excavated. The cavern, known as a forebay, will connect with 34 vertical shafts—each 500 feet deep and 6 feet in diameter—to accommodate the station’s 34 submersible pumping units. From the forebay, water will be pumped to SNWA’s water treatment facilities. The pumping station is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Sun shines bright on water treatment


Southern Nevada’s water treatment processes are getting a little help from the sun as SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy developer, has completed work on an 18-megawatt solar energy system at the River Mountains Water Treatment Facility in Henderson.
 
Spanning approximately 100 acres with 54,500 single-axis tracking panels, the privately-owned solar power facility will generate about 38,000 megawatt hours per year—enough power to support more than 3,000 typical Las Vegas homes. The renewable power generated by the system will offset the energy demands associated with treating and delivering high-quality drinking water to the Las Vegas Valley.
 
Through a mix of renewable energy resources, including hydroturbines, high-concentrated arrays, and photovoltaic installations, approximately 18 percent of SNWA’s annual power needs are met using green energy sources.
Conservation efforts have led to the removal of more than 176 million square feet of turf, resulting in a savings of 98 billion gallons of water, which is enough to cover 3,000 football fields.


SNWA hits quarter-century mark


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which was formed to unify local water purveyors and wastewater agencies in addressing the unique water needs of our community.

Over the past quarter-century, the Water Authority has: It is a privilege to lead this agency in its efforts to support the Southern Nevada community and to work with so many professionals dedicated to being global leaders in service, innovation and stewardship. 
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