Southern Nevada Water Authority, or SNWA, has a large responsibility to carry on its shoulders. As the Las Vegas metropolitan area keeps on growing at a healthy pace, it has been working tirelessly to satisfy its ever-increasing water needs. But growth is only one thing to worry about. Another is that this is a desert. Annual rainfall here is almost nothing. So, think about that. To throw in one more challenge is the current drought in the region. To put it mildly, SNWA sure has its plate full.
One of its conservation programs involves local builders. It's called the Water Smart Home and was developed in partnership with the Southern Nevada Home Builder's Association. The homes that qualify will exceed the federal water efficiency standards and can save up to 75,000 gallons of water every year. That is a lot of water savings per house. It is voluntary, builder-funded and the largest new home water efficiency program in the country. I can understand why Southern Nevada is at the forefront of national conservation efforts. It has to be. There is no other choice.
The newest member is Pulte Homes and their first Water Smart neighborhood will be built in Summerlin. But Pulte is going one step further in a show of commitment to the community. They are also building 20 ultra-high-efficiency houses in the same neighborhood that is part of a national study of water efficiency in new homes. SNWA and EPA are in on this national effort as joint sponsors.
It's encouraging to see more builders join the Water Smart Home program. I wonder what will happen if the drought continues another several years. Will a membership become mandatory? It might go to that.