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June 13, 2024 11:21 am

Local News

Lake Mead Water Levels Lead To New Regulations for Henderson Businesses

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Mohamed Bughrara

The historic drought plaguing the Southwest continues to cause struggles for businesses in Nevada and surrounding states. The Anthem Country Club in Henderson will be temporarily closing their golf course, while Basic Water Company has filed for bankruptcy. James Symons, the Superintendent at Anthem Country Club Golf Course, reports that the golf course has been partially closed in order to help conserve 40 percent of its water allocation, with hopes of reopening at the end of the year, stating, “We want to be sustainable just to stay operational and stay functional long term.” The golf course was closed in July to allow the renovation of the greens and the installation of more sustainable grass, but with new regulations by the Southern Nevada Water Authority requiring golf courses to lower their consumption to 4-acre-feet of water use a year, they have decided to close the course in order to reduce their water usage. For perspective on quantities, each acre-foot of water amounts to about 326,000 gallons. “The problem is bigger than Anthem Country Club, bigger than Channel 13, it’s bigger than all of us and we all have to jump in and help,” said Symons. Through water conservation efforts from now until the end of 2022, this country club could save up to 80 million gallons of water, and more than 50 other golf courses have taken notice and begun enacting similar plans. 

About 20 minutes away from Anthem Country Club sits Basic Water Company. In the mid-20th century, Basic Water Company was the sole provider to Henderson and Las Vegas, but over the decades the cities slowly switched to other sources, eventually leading BTC to become the provider instead to four major industrial customers within Henderson. However, since July, when Lake Mead’s water levels dropped below 1,043 feet, the company has been unable to pump out any water. Cheryl Gowan, the Vice President of Marketing, gave a statement on the crisis, “Due to the system’s inability to draw water for the foreseeable future, BWC has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to facilitate a process to resolve the water system’s long-term future.” The company will continue to facilitate water deliveries to its industrial customers with the help of the City of Henderson and the Southern Nevada Water Authority. 

As for the entirety of southern Nevada, it’s nothing short of normal these days, with businesses and residents in the valley having had to make regular changes in their water use since 2000. “Our community has removed more than 200 million square feet of grass from this valley. It saves more than 11 billion gallons of water every single year,” said Bronson Mack of Southern Nevada Water Authority. But as the drought continues, Mack alongside other conservation experts warn that far more work is needed and that this crisis is far from over.