LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Last summer, the federal government declared a water shortage in the Colorado River. The river feeds into Lake Mead and dropped nearly 20 feet last year.

That declaration means less water is available to Las Vegas in 2022.

The valley will draw 7% less water this year and if water levels continue to drop as forecast, it will be 8.3% in 2023.

Bronson Mack with the Southern Nevada Water Authority said the area does a great job in conserving water.

“We’ve seen our population grown by 800,000 people the past twenty years, yet we’ve reduced water consumption by 23% at the same time,” he said.

Useless vegetation like grass in traffic roundabouts, along sidewalks in public areas and in front of commercial and industrial properties use up about 12 billion gallons of water a year, according to the SNWA.

Getting rid of it means that much more water will stay in Lake Mead.

Western Water Drought

Plants grow out of dry cracked ground that was once underwater near Boulder Beach in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Monday, May 18, 2015, near Boulder City, Nev. Federal water managers are projecting Lake Mead will drop to levels in January 2017 that could force supply cuts to Arizona and Nevada. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“If we all follow the seasonal water restrictions and replace grass you are not using we’ll be able to continue to meet our community’s needs,” said Mack.

It’s not just watering grass that is having an impact on the water levels, evaporation and the changing climate is also part of the problem.

Even with the reduced water allocation in place, our consumption remains well below our 2022 allotment.

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

Bo Donk

If you are serious about conservation, you will stop building new McMansions every 20 feet otherwise, your plea will fall on deaf ears. Stop building homes and we might take you seriously. I refuse to save water so developers can use it and get rich

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