Tag Archives: Las Vegas

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas (and Santa Monica)

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

Further Commentary:  In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal. 2015:  Turf removal has become so popular during the mega-drought in California that budgeted amounts for the programs are quickly oversubscribed.

And Even Further Commentary:  As I sit here posting this item in late 2017, my front yard is completely populated with drought tolerant plants and a drip irrigation system. We received the maximum $6,000 rebate from the City of Santa Monica at $3.50 per square foot of turf replaced. However, that amount, which is quite generous, did not come close to the full cost of this expensive project. Don’t let anyone tell you that drought landscaping is simple or cheap.

Advertisements

#TDIWH—February 24, 1953: Birth of Pat Mulroy; 1815: Death of Robert Fulton

0224 Pat MulroyFebruary 24, 1953: Pat Mulroy was born. Patricia Mulroy is the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Her job is to make sure that Las Vegas and the surrounding metropolitan area has enough water, now and in the future. Mulroy is the German-born daughter of an American father and a German mother. She was hired in 1978 when she was working for the University of Las Vegas to work in an administrative job at the Las Vegas Valley Water District. She became general manager of that organization in 1989 and in 1991 she was chosen as the general manage of the newly formed Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Because Las Vegas has one of the lowest priorities of water rights on the Colorado River, her tenure has been marked by some of the most innovative efforts to increase the region’s water supply and revolutionary ideas to conserve water. She has gone way beyond the usual approaches of low flow showerheads and low flush toilets. The Authority’s program to buy back turf grass in people’s yards at a price of up to two dollars a square foot has been called by some as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West.

She has been called ruthless, scheming and tough. And those are some of the nice things that people who have gone up against her say about her. She is also scary smart and not afraid to take on the biggest and the baddest opponents to get what she wants. And what she wants is what is best for the Authority and the people served by it. Some people say that she has mellowed over the years and is now approaching the task of squeezing more water out of a drought-stricken Colorado River with a more strategic approach.

“Her preferred strategy now [2010] is to weight it [Colorado River water rights] down with subsequent agreements so numerous that the contract is in effect suffocated. In her words, ‘Put enough agreements on top of it that it becomes meaningless.’ While her style remains blunt and no-nonsense, her grasp of the realpolitik of the Colorado River water users has grown more sure and subtle. She is a deal maker when necessary, looking to expand the possibilities for trading water rights or to provide incentives for others to compromise. She infuriated residents of northeastern Nevada and western Utah by pushing for a 285-mile pipeline to bring groundwater from the Snake Valley to Las Vegas but eventually struck a deal, although resentment remains and Utah is not yet formally on board.” (Barringer 2010)

Pat Mulroy is one of a kind. She has shaken up the good-old-boys network of water resources experts in the Western U.S. and we are all better off because of it.

Reference: Barringer, Felicity. 2010. “Las Vegas’s Worried Water Czar.” New York Times. September 28, 2010.

Commentary: The entire article is my opinion.

0224 Robert FultonFebruary 24, 1815: Robert Fulton dies. Today in Science History. Robert Fulton–Born 14 Nov 1765; died 24 Feb 1815 at age 49. “American inventor, engineer, and artist who brought steamboating from the experimental stage to commercial success. He did not invent the steamboat, which had been built in the early 1700’s, but rather applied his engineering skills to their design. He changed the proportions, arrangements, and velocities of already proposed ideas. In 1807, work was completed on the Clermont, the first steamboat that was truly successful, and the culmination of many years of work. It’s maiden voyage was on 17 Aug from New York City to Albany, a distance of 150 miles completed in 32 hours. A mechanical genius with many talents, he also designed a system of inland waterways, a submarine (Nautilus, 1801), and a steam warship.”

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas (and Santa Monica)

Turf Removal

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Further Commentary: In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal. 2015: Turf removal has become so popular during the mega-drought in California that budgeted amounts for the programs are quickly oversubscribed.

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

And Even Further Commentary: As I sit here posting this item in late 2016, my front yard is completely dug up and we are awaiting the delivery of drought tolerant plants and a drip irrigation system to complete our drought landscaping project. It looks like we could get as much as $6,000 in rebates from the City of Santa Monica at $3.50 per square foot of turf replaced. However, that amount, which is quite generous, will not come close to the full cost of this expensive project. Don’t let anyone tell you that drought landscaping is simple or cheap.

1108-lawn-replace2

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas

Turf Removal

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Further Commentary: In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal. 2015: Turf removal has become so popular during the mega-drought in California that budgeted amounts for the programs are quickly oversubscribed.

#TDIWH—February 24, 1953: Birth of Pat Mulroy; 1815: Death of Robert Fulton

0224 Pat MulroyFebruary 24, 1953: Pat Mulroy was born. Patricia Mulroy is the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Her job is to make sure that Las Vegas and the surrounding metropolitan area has enough water, now and in the future. Mulroy is the German-born daughter of an American father and a German mother. She was hired in 1978 when she was working for the University of Las Vegas to work in an administrative job at the Las Vegas Valley Water District. She became general manager of that organization in 1989 and in 1991 she was chosen as the general manage of the newly formed Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Because Las Vegas has one of the lowest priorities of water rights on the Colorado River, her tenure has been marked by some of the most innovative efforts to increase the region’s water supply and revolutionary ideas to conserve water. She has gone way beyond the usual approaches of low flow showerheads and low flush toilets. The Authority’s program to buy back turf grass in people’s yards at a price of up to two dollars a square foot has been called by some as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West.

She has been called ruthless, scheming and tough. And those are some of the nice things that people who have gone up against her say about her. She is also scary smart and not afraid to take on the biggest and the baddest opponents to get what she wants. And what she wants is what is best for the Authority and the people served by it. Some people say that she has mellowed over the years and is now approaching the task of squeezing more water out of a drought-stricken Colorado River with a more strategic approach.

“Her preferred strategy now [2010] is to weight it [Colorado River water rights] down with subsequent agreements so numerous that the contract is in effect suffocated. In her words, ‘Put enough agreements on top of it that it becomes meaningless.’ While her style remains blunt and no-nonsense, her grasp of the realpolitik of the Colorado River water users has grown more sure and subtle. She is a deal maker when necessary, looking to expand the possibilities for trading water rights or to provide incentives for others to compromise. She infuriated residents of northeastern Nevada and western Utah by pushing for a 285-mile pipeline to bring groundwater from the Snake Valley to Las Vegas but eventually struck a deal, although resentment remains and Utah is not yet formally on board.” (Barringer 2010)

Pat Mulroy is one of a kind. She has shaken up the good-old-boys network of water resources experts in the Western U.S. and we are all better off because of it.

Reference: Barringer, Felicity. 2010. “Las Vegas’s Worried Water Czar.” New York Times. September 28, 2010.

Commentary: The entire article is my opinion.

1114 Robert FultonFebruary 24, 1815: Robert Fulton dies. Today in Science History. Robert Fulton–Born 14 Nov 1765; died 24 Feb 1815 at age 49. “American inventor, engineer, and artist who brought steamboating from the experimental stage to commercial success. He did not invent the steamboat, which had been built in the early 1700’s, but rather applied his engineering skills to their design. He changed the proportions, arrangements, and velocities of already proposed ideas. In 1807, work was completed on the Clermont, the first steamboat that was truly successful, and the culmination of many years of work. It’s maiden voyage was on 17 Aug from New York City to Albany, a distance of 150 miles completed in 32 hours. A mechanical genius with many talents, he also designed a system of inland waterways, a submarine (Nautilus, 1801), and a steam warship.”

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas

Turf Removal

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Further Commentary: In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal.

February 24, 1953, 1815: Pat Mulroy born; Robert Fulton Dies

0224 Pat MulroyFebruary 24, 1953:  Pat Mulroy was born. Patricia Mulroy is the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. Her job is to make sure that Las Vegas and the surrounding metropolitan area has enough water, now and in the future. Mulroy is the German-born daughter of an American father and a German mother. She was hired in 1978 when she was working for the University of Las Vegas to work in an administrative job at the Las Vegas Valley Water District. She became general manager of that organization in 1989 and in 1991 she was chosen as the general manage of the newly formed Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Because Las Vegas has one of the lowest priorities of water rights on the Colorado River, her tenure has been marked by some of the most innovative efforts to increase the region’s water supply and revolutionary ideas to conserve water. She has gone way beyond the usual approaches of low flow showerheads and low flush toilets. The Authority’s program to buy back turf grass in people’s yards at a price of up to two dollars a square foot has been called by some as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West.

She has been called ruthless, scheming and tough. And those are some of the nice things that people who have gone up against her say about her. She is also scary smart and not afraid to take on the biggest and the baddest opponents to get what she wants. And what she wants is what is best for the Authority and the people served by it. Some people say that she has mellowed over the years and is now approaching the task of squeezing more water out of a drought-stricken Colorado River with a more strategic approach.

“Her preferred strategy now [2010] is to weight it [Colorado River water rights] down with subsequent agreements so numerous that the contract is in effect suffocated. In her words, ‘Put enough agreements on top of it that it becomes meaningless.’ While her style remains blunt and no-nonsense, her grasp of the realpolitik of the Colorado River water users has grown more sure and subtle. She is a deal maker when necessary, looking to expand the possibilities for trading water rights or to provide incentives for others to compromise. She infuriated residents of northeastern Nevada and western Utah by pushing for a 285-mile pipeline to bring groundwater from the Snake Valley to Las Vegas but eventually struck a deal, although resentment remains and Utah is not yet formally on board.” (Barringer 2010)

Pat Mulroy is one of a kind. She has shaken up the good-old-boys network of water resources experts in the Western U.S. and we are all better off because of it.

Reference:  Barringer, Felicity. 2010. “Las Vegas’s Worried Water Czar.” New York Times. September 28, 2010.

Commentary:  The entire article is my opinion.

0224 Robert FultonFebruary 24, 1815: Robert Fulton dies. Today in Science History. Robert Fulton–Born 14 Nov 1765; died 24 Feb 1815 at age 49. “American inventor, engineer, and artist who brought steamboating from the experimental stage to commercial success. He did not invent the steamboat, which had been built in the early 1700’s, but rather applied his engineering skills to their design. He changed the proportions, arrangements, and velocities of already proposed ideas. In 1807, work was completed on the Clermont, the first steamboat that was truly successful, and the culmination of many years of work. It’s maiden voyage was on 17 Aug from New York City to Albany, a distance of 150 miles completed in 32 hours. A mechanical genius with many talents, he also designed a system of inland waterways, a submarine (Nautilus, 1801), and a steam warship.”