With the worsening drought in the Southwest, and more specifically Southern Nevada, It is important to understand how to best utilize and conserve water in the desert. Local and regional water authorities can provide resources, such as the Southern Nevada Water Authority, commonly known as the SNWA.
What is the Southern Nevada Water Authority?
The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is the wholesale water supplier for the Southern Nevada region. The organization consists of seven local water agencies, formed in 1991 to come together on water issues rather than addressing them individually. This means they oversee the water supply Everything Turf Pros, and likely you, receive!
The authority’s mission is still critical whether or not you live in the aforementioned region. At face value, the authority may appear solely about supplying water; however, much of the SNWA’s work revolves around broader conservation efforts. Its mission statement emphasizes sustainable and adaptive water services.
The SNWA’s Conservation Efforts
Why is Conservation Important?
The SNWA cares deeply about conserving the water for Southern Nevada with a comprehensive understanding of the drought. Their focus must be on water conservation when the area often faces drought.
The Colorado River supplies the majority of Southern Nevada’s water supply via Lake Mead, a reservoir in Nevada and Arizona. The system has been facing drought since the early 2000s—with current levels low enough for the Bureau of Reclamation to announce water cuts to the region, and the declaration of a water shortage. According to NASA, as of July 2022, Lake Mead had a water level of 1,043, and holds about 27% capacity of what it can. There are a few counties, including that which Las Vegas is in, that currently face a D4 level drought.
What are some of the SNWA’s Conservation Resources and Efforts?
Some of their informational sections include pages on conserving water, water resources, and protecting the environment.
The SNWA’s ‘Ways to Conserve Water’ section offers information on irrigation clocks, indoor conservation tips, a tool to assist residents in finding their watering days and group. For example, Everything Turf Pros is in Watering Group D. Groups are based on Geographical locations, and the days and times they are permitted to water varies by the season. The SNWA offers information on how to use outdoor water, and anything outside of the groups’ allowances may result in fees. They also offer a comprehensive understanding of laws and ordinances, and how to find and fix water leaks!
Within their ‘Water Resources,’ they have specific pages on responding to drought, the current water supply, drought and climate change, and preparing for the future. The portion of their site for ‘Protecting the Environment’ includes a page on environmental stewardship and their sustainability project of reducing their footprint. It also has a section on the Las Vegas Wash, which returns water to Lake Mead, and the Warm Springs Natural Area, which the SNWA acquired by the SNWA to protect.The SNWA also has a Youth Conservation Council—which helps students get involved in water issues for community service hours—and a Water-Smarts podcast that discusses water issues. You can find these resources under their ‘About Us’ drop-down menu. As you can tell, water conservation is essential to the SNWA and the region!
The SNWA Pushes for Water-Smart Landscaping!
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, water-smart landscaping occurs when landscapes are designed for the conditions of their native area and use water efficiently. The SNWA provides advice for those looking to observe and establish water-smart landscaping.
If you reside in the Southern Nevada region, you are likely familiar with the SNWA’s new declaration in 2021 and the law to remove all ‘useless grass’ by the end of 2026. The ban applies to any living grass that is simply for visual appeal and has no recreational purpose. Single-home families are exempt from this. In short, ‘useless’, or ‘decorative’ grass is anything living turf that is not used recreationally—for a few examples, a street median or the lawn in front of a business.
The 2021 announcement is not the authority’s first attempt to do so. In a video that can be found on their website or YouTube, “New law bans useless grass in Southern Nevada,” John Entsminger, the SNWA general manager, detailed that they have been incentivizing this process for 20 years—and only just now banning it due to the water shortage declaration.
As mentioned by JC Davis, enterprise conservation manager for the SNWA, on the podcast, “HERBA NON-GRATA: Groundbreaking new law requires businesses replace decorative grass,” while ‘useless’ grass does not technically have to be removed until the beginning of 2027, he suggests replacing it as soon as possible. Appealing to financial senses, he predicts that it will only get more expensive as the deadline approaches.
While the new law applies to many grassy areas, it does not apply to single-family homes or areas used for recreational purposes. Because this is not a requirement for every grassy patch, these efforts continue. A law is not the only reason you should consider switching to water-smart landscaping and artificial turf. While it may be a significant upfront cost, it is truly an investment–giving you the knowledge you are aiding the region in water conservation and lowering your utility bills!
If that is not quite tempting enough, the SNWA offers a financially encouraging program for switching to desert landscaping for all parties. Every square foot of living grass replaced will receive a cash rebate of $3.00. Certain conditions to this offer include utilizing plants for 50% of your landscape and a minimum of 400 square feet (though the SNWA may consider smaller projects). You can view more details on the SNWA website.
How Does the SNWA Connect to Everything Turf Pros?
The mission of SNWA falls hand in hand with Everything Turf Pros. At Everything Turf Pros, we strive to positively impact the environment by installing beautiful artificial turf that will cut water waste! See the connection? The SNWA wants to preserve water, just like we do! And while the SNWA oversees the water, we oversee the turf!
If the SNWA cash rebate is a tempting offer to you, just know that we are SNWA authorized installers with Turf Envy turf that qualifies for the rebate!
While artificial turf is not the only answer to the rebate or water-smart landscaping, it is the most visually and physically similar alternative. Artificial turf can offer you the important benefits of a living lawn if you have animals or children. In the previously mentioned podcast, Davis also says that while the law does not apply to single-family homes, the applications have been much higher for residences.
Whether you are a single-family home or caretaker of grass that is exempt from this ban, we encourage you to try our life-changing, water-saving–and in turn, dollar-saving–turf! If you are still on the fence about switching to an artificial lawn, give us a call today at + (1) 702-501-9247! We hope to help you down from the fence and onto our artificial lawn!