LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The I-Team has learned a federal water shortage declaration on the Colorado River is expected on Monday. That would trigger some mandatory cutbacks.
Lake Mead, where we get 90% of our water, is at record low levels right now.
Valley residents are urged to conserve water. Now, the I-Team is taking a look at residents who are considered to use the most.
These lists include homes that used the most water in 2020. Some of them may have been sold since last year, and some homeowners may have changed their landscaping since then.
A water district spokesman says in many cases, these are properties with large houses. In some cases, there are one or two pools and a lot of grass.
What’s used to water those lawns comes from Lake Mead. It’s at an all-time low. So, water is a resource we are all supposed to try to conserve.
“I think the average resident in southern Nevada needs to know who’s using the most water,” said Kyle Roerink of the Great Basin Water Network.
Casino moguls, business leaders, musicians, athletes, doctors, and lawyers are among those named. The I-Team obtained these lists which reveal top residential water users, as the west faces a crisis.
“Our water situation right now is unprecedented,” Roerink said.
Roerink is the executive director of the Great Basin Water Network which promotes water conservation. He points to the first-ever shortage expected to be declared for Lake Mead.
“I feel like the folks that are using the exorbitant amounts of water on an annual basis are not in touch with reality,” Roerink said.
Topping the list is a home that records reveal belongs to the Prince of Brunei. The Las Vegas Valley Water District reports his Spanish Trail property used more than 12 million gallons of water in 2020. That’s about 100 times more than the average home uses.
Bronson Mack with the Las Vegas Valley Water District says 20% of customers use about 40% of water.
“We do have a very high-end group of customers that use a significant amount of water,” Mack said.
Second on the list is a Summerlin home which records reveal belongs to the Adelson family.
Also, in the top ten — the Greenspun family. Ironically, one week ago in the Las Vegas Sun, newspaper owner Brian Greenspun turned over his column to the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority for a piece on water conservation.
The I-Team has uncovered clusters of top water users in some of the most high-end guard-gated communities.
Homeowners on so-called “Billionaire Row” in Summerlin by the TPC golf course include Steve Wynn, David Copperfield and Lorenzo and Victoria Fertitta — all in the top ten in the City of Las Vegas.
At MacDonald Ranch, a home which records reveal belongs to Nancy Walton — a member of the family which started Walmart — is No. 5 in the City of Henderson.
Celine Dion’s Lake Las Vegas home is listed as No. 12 in Henderson. Mike Tyson’s is No. 30.
In the City of Las Vegas, NBA player DeMarcus Cousins is No. 16. Aja Volkman, singer and wife to Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, is No. 61. Floyd Mayweather is No. 84.
Five Finger Death Punch member Zoltan Bathory has two homes in Las Vegas and Henderson both listed in the top 100.
“It exemplifies what we’ve seen for years in southern Nevada is that people with more power and more money tend to consume a lot more water but we’re all in this together right now,” Roerink said.
There is a huge effort underway to try to get homeowners to replace their grass with artificial turf and there’s a rebate for it.
The Las Vegas Valley Water District, for example, targets zip codes with high usage of water with mailers reminding them about water restrictions and the rebate.
The City of Henderson is also offering rebate programs to residents and businesses.