Water Smarts Podcast

Going deep to protect Southern Nevada's water supply

January 20, 2021 Doa Ross Season 1 Episode 4
Water Smarts Podcast
Going deep to protect Southern Nevada's water supply
Show Notes

 As Lake Mead water levels dropped due to drought, the two major water intakes pulling water from the lake for Southern Nevada were getting perilously close to the surface. Doa Ross, the deputy general manager of engineering for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), joins the Water Smarts podcast to talk about how SNWA engineered a solution and constructed a new intake deep below the lake’s surface and a pumping station to push water from the intake to the water treatment facilities located uphill.  Working together, Intake No. 3 and the Low Lake Level Pumping Station ensure the Las Vegas Valley will have access to its water supply – even if  lake levels drop so low, water cannot be drawn through Hoover Dam to produce power or deliver water to downstream users. Doa discusses the construction challenges of one of the largest drilling projects in the history of the United States, and how the two major construction projects give Southern Nevada an opportunity to partner with other states. 

According to Ross:

  • “There is an elevation in Lake Mead that if the water drops below 900 feet, Hoover Dam can no longer take water through it to generate power or to even release water to Arizona, California and Mexico – the three continued users down the Colorado River. So we have ensured the ability to still receive water even if we get to a point where that water can no longer make it through Hoover Dam to the downstream users.” 

  • “We were very fortunate to be able to provide a solution to this drought with engineering and construction.”

  • “We have to have the infrastructure prepared and ready and able to deliver water to our valley, our Southern Nevada residents and customers and even tourists continuously in a way that we’re not threatened by the drought.”

Recommended resources:

In 30 minutes, the Third Intake Documentary covers seven years of one of the world’s most challenging tunneling projects 

Learn more about SNWA’s Intake No. 3 and Low Lake Level Pumping Station.

Save water and money with an SNWA Water Smart Car Wash coupon.