New conservation measures include all sectors of the community, protect water supply

January 2023  

In response to the megadrought impacting the Colorado River Basin and declining water levels at Lake Mead, the federal government declared a Tier 2 water shortage for 2023, reducing Southern Nevada’s water supply by 8 billion gallons this year. Southern Nevada’s commitment to water conservation and its investment in critical infrastructure have prepared the community for the water supply reduction.

To further ensure the community’s sustainability and economic security, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and its member agencies are implementing additional conservation measures that comprise all sectors of the community.

The measures include limiting residential pools to 600 sq. ft. surface area and prohibiting new homes and developments from installing grass landscaping and/or spray irrigation.

The City of Henderson and Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) adjusted water rates so all residential customers receive the same amount of water at each water rate tier. Additionally, LVVWD implemented an excessive use charge to encourage the largest residential water users to conserve.

In the business sector, the measures include reducing golf course water budgets, prohibiting new golf courses, and banning any new water features, including on the Las Vegas Strip.

SNWA also worked with NAIOP and business leaders to eliminate the use of evaporative cooling in new construction projects that apply for building permits after September 1, 2023. Evaporative cooling is Southern Nevada’s second largest water use after landscape irrigation, and other non-evaporative cooling technologies exist for a more water sustainable approach for future building designs.

Additionally, SNWA continues to implement Nevada’s non-functional grass law that requires the replacement of all decorative grass at commercial, multi-family residential and homeowners associations by the end of 2026.

For more information about how your business can be part of the conservation solution, visit