Sunday, May 19 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-19 18:47:40 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Metro officers have arrested two suspects accused of killing a teen while trying to steal his iPad. 15-year-old Marcos Arenas was run over by an SUV on Thursday near Charleston and Torrey Pines. PoliceMore>>
Metro officers have arrested two suspects accused of killing a teen while trying to steal his iPad.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:05:13 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself. But on Thursday morning, as he was assisting someone who had crashed their car, anotherMore>>
When Randy Kleiner stopped to help an injured driver, he didn't expect to become injured himself.More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-05-19 22:10:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Some of the trams at McCarran International Airport are down due to an electrical failure. Officials tells us they stopped working this morning. Right now at least 2 trams are working, butMore>>
Some of the trams at McCarran International Airport are down due to an electrical failure.More>>
Sunday, May 19 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-19 18:26:25 GMT
LAS VEGAS-- Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash on the I15 near the Speedway. We're told 3 people are dead. The driver of a Acura was driving northbound when for some reason he enteredMore>>
Nevada Highway Patrol is investigating a deadly crash on the I15 near the Speedway. We're told 3 people are dead.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:25 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:25:46 GMT
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible. Police say two men tried to rob the child of the device on Thursday.More>>
As a family struggles with the death of a 15-year-old boy killed over and iPad, police are trying to track down the men responsible.More>>
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:09:50 GMT
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball. The jackpot has grown to $600 million. People tell 8 News Now they waitedMore>>
Lines of people were wrapped around The Lotto Store twice this weekend for the second largest lottery in the history of Powerball.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said. According to the Clark County Detention Center, the volunteer coach,More>>
A volunteer basketball coach at Shadow Ridge High School has been arrested, Clark County Schools Police Lt. Ken Young said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says a preteen who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted robbery has died. Investigators said the preteen was walking near Charleston Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive withMore>>
Marcos Arenas, a Bonanza High School student who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted theft, has died, Metro Police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are investigating two people found dead in an apartment complex near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway. According to police, the bodies were found around 3 p.m. Friday atMore>>
Metro Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in an apartment Friday afternoon near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- When it comes to water, the future is now. More than 7,500 desalting plants are in operation around the world, turning undrinkable water into a clean and clear supply.
Southern Nevada officials have always downplayed the potential of desalting operations to meet Nevada's water needs, but it will be tough to write it off now that a plant is up and running, paid for, in part, with your money. The plant near Yuma, Arizona is already churning out millions of gallons per year.
The plant was authorized in 1974, built in the early 90's but since then it's been largely ignored, especially by Nevada water officials who prefer pinning their hopes on a massive rural pipeline plan that critics call a 19th century solution.
What the Yuma plant is doing is a drop in the bucket, but the potential is clear. The valley leading into Yuma is breadbasket of sorts, covered with vast fruit and vegetable operations, producing bountiful harvests year round. It takes a lot of water to grow melons and other greenery in the desert, and for decades, vast amounts of agricultural runoff was essentially wasted, too brackish for human consumption.
Jennifer McCloskey is Bureau of Reclamation manager overseeing a sprawling and innovative plant created to strip the salt and crud out of all that farm runoff and turn it into clean, usable water.
The Yuma plant fired up in May as part of a year long demonstration project. Even running at 30-percent capacity, the plant is producing 29,000 acre feet of water, enough to supply the needs of nearly 120,000 people.
But ask McCloskey to say the project is a success and this is as close as you'd get, "The operation is proceeding well. We are on target for our recovery rates."
The lack of enthusiasm is odd, but not new. The plant, which cost $250 million to build, was finished in 1992 but sat unused, except for a brief demo. It cost $6 million a year just for maintenance.
Why not fire it up during a drought that has lasted 10 years?
"There was no need to operate the plant when we had a surplus," said McCloskey.
This subdued enthusiasm is also true for one of the three principal sponsors of the test run, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which has always told Nevadans that water desalting is promising, but won't help until the far away future. SNWA even used public dollars to buy ads which downplay desalting as an alternative to a multi-billion dollar groundwater grab in rural Nevada. Too expensive, the agency says.
Former federal water planner Mark Bird says the Yuma plant proves these arguments don't hold water. The cost is already less than what would be spent on a rural pipeline.
"It's far less. It might be on the order of per billion gallons, on the order of three to four times less. It's not even close," he said.
Bird has long criticized local water agencies for ignoring the desalination option. He thinks the reasons are political not scientific. The Yuma experience will make it that much tougher to ignore.
During the test run, the plant is also investigating new filters and membranes that could reduce costs even more. If combined with clean energy sources, such as the solar plant across the road from the Yuma operation, there's great potential for environmental benefits as well.
"The fact that Arizona, California, Texas, Georgia and other places, a dozen countries around the world are investing in desalting tells us something," he said.
It's not known what will happen to the Yuma plant after its year long test run is over. Managers say it's going to need a lot of upgrades after sitting unused for so many years, assuming the sponsoring agencies, including SNWA, want to continue funding.
Just two months ago, a private company announced yet another breakthrough -- a new membrane that could reduce costs of desalting by 80-percent.
As Bird has noted, the Pacific Ocean is closer to Las Vegas than is the end of the proposed rural Nevada pipeline.