It was surely a coincidence.
The Las Vegas newspaper on Sunday carried a banner story that jumped to two full pages inside. The headline declared: “We have enough.” Enough water that is for continued new housing development.
“We have enough water to support future growth, even with cuts that are anticipated if Lake Mead continues to decline,” the water district manager is quoted as saying.
Wrapped around that front page was something people in the industry call a spadea, which is essentially a three-page ad. A half-page flaps over the cover and two pages form the back of the section. In this case the ad was for the Summerlin housing developments, with half of that devoted to the developer’s new housing development called The Cliffs.
The Cliffs, according to the ad, is a 450-acre development that will add 1,700 new homes to the valley abutting the mountains to the west.
It is also a coincidence that the Sunday paper has two sections devoted to 18 pages of mostly real estate ads, including a full-page one for a 313-new home development called Ascaya.
“So whether we should stop growing is really a philosophical question. It’s the water authority’s job to provide the tools to let the community be what it wants to be through its zoning, business licensing and investment decisions,” the news article quoted John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority,” as saying. “If the community doesn’t want growth, that’s a community decision. It’s not in our purview to stop issuing water commitments when we have sufficient water resources.”
Population growth? Not a problem.
Global warming? No sweat.
Drought? That third intake pipeline will let the valley suck water from Mead even if the lake levels dip so low Hoover Dam would have to shut down.
Perhaps this story will make up for the column a couple of days earlier under the hed: “Desalination dawdling could leave Southern Nevada high and dry.”
Of course, the new owners of the newspaper would never stoop to coordinating the news with advertising interests.
But tell me again just why the water district and the rural counties are spending millions of dollars on lawyers, engineers and court costs if the valley doesn’t need that $15 billion pipeline to bring groundwater from eastern Nevada.