Las Vegas shopping center boasts that it uses "imported water" in its "water feature"

There's no better way to show that you care about your "environment and community" than by trucking in tanks of water to be dumped in an artificial pond and moved around with electric pumps for the amusement of mall shoppers.

(Via Sociological Images)


  1. It’s odd that they care. Las Vegas already has a fairly ambitious system of recycling to try and squeeze everything they can out of each drop of water.. even to the point of recirculating grey water for watering lawns.

    There was a documentary on it a ways back, can’t remember where I saw it.

    Of course the whole system falls apart during a bad snow year when the Colorado river isn’t able to fill the reservoir back up, but that’s another topic.

      1. Water and plants in the landscape create a significant local cooling effect which reduces energy consumption.

        1. Of course that depends a heck of a lot on what kind of water and/or and plant landscaping is going in. The golf courses and artificial lakes covering much of the Vegas area sure aren’t doing much to help the region’s environmental footprint.

          1. A GIS appears to show that Town Square has xeriscape plantings.  The big pool/ fountain will work like a huge evaporative cooling device and cool the area downwind by 10-15°F.

        2. To keep cool without wasting energy or water,          
                    __( .)=
          try not living in the desert.

          1. Most of the world is uninhabitable to significant numbers of humans without massive use of technology and concomitant fuel use.

          2. True enough, but the places that they are siphoning water from are perfectly inhabitable and not overcrowded.  There is little reason for humans to live in Las Vegas other than the economic incentive created by legalized gambling.  It would be simpler just to legalize blackjack where it rains.

          3. Where are the places that are so temperate that you don’t need to use heating or air conditioning, and also have plentiful local water? We can’t fit seven billion people in Hawaii.

    1. When one lives in the desert, a small water fountain in the park area of an outdoor mall is nice.

      When one lives in the alps, outdoor space heaters are nice. But they don’t make a lot of sense from an environmental perspective.

  2. I would say it’s to differentiate from ‘filled from the tap with the same water you drink and can’t wash your car with, honestly we’re not wasting it’

    1. Speaking as a Canadian, we don’t consider Celine Dion a “valuable resource”, but you’re welcome to her nonetheless!

          1. Rush the band, or was I just missing your sarcasm? Rush Limbaugh’s head would explode if he lived Canada… if he thinks the Dems in the US are liberal, oh boy, he should try up north. LOL.

          2. Yeah, recalibrate your sarcasm meter.

            I would pay big money to watch Limbaugh’s head explode in Canada.

  3. Really? What about other cities that exist in desert climates as well? Do they exist solely to waste valuable resources imported from elsewhere? Don’t bother answering, I’ve already stopped caring about what people that don’t know what they are talking about are going to say.

    1. You’ve misunderstood what I believe “Cleo” was meaning when he used the term “valuable resources imported from elsewhere”. $o go ahead and $top caring about what people that don’t know what they are talking about are going to $ay…a$ thi$ include$ you.

    2. What’s Las Vegas’ major industry?  Does the major industry have any social benefits?  Costs?  Is there much manufacturing in Las Vegas?  Innovation?

      I can understood getting a little defensive about your home town but Las Vegas prides itself — and markets itself — on its culture of conspicuous consumption.  It should be no surprise whatsoever when people get the impression that Las Vegas wastes a lot of resources.  Especially when it’s simply a fact that it does.

      1. Do a little research on the Downtown Project happening in Las Vegas and you’ll see that your posit will be proven incorrect. Innovation, manufacturing, and social benefits abound. There is more to Las Vegas than gambling. It’s a city like any other where people live, work, and go to school. It just happens to have the strip running down the middle of it. Downtownproject dot com

        1. Do a little research on the Downtown Project happening in Las Vegas and you’ll see that your posit will be proven incorrect. Innovation, manufacturing, and social benefits abound.

          It doesn’t really matter if Las Vegas has a thriving manufacturing sector or not, because by the tourism board’s own admission everything just stays in Vegas anyway.

        2. I didn’t say there was no manufacturing or innovation so it would be hard to show I’m “incorrect”. I asked whether there was much implying that there isn’t much and in relative terms I’m fairly certain that’s true. You don’t dispute the fact that LV wastes resources I take it?

          By the way, when you throw out the downtownproject dot com link you look like an astroturfer.

      2. While there’s no question that cities located in a desert aren’t very environmentally friendly, Phoenix, a much larger desert city, is considered a worse offender as in the subtitle of a recent book about it: “Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City”.

        That being said, Vegas is an actual city with people living in it that have actually have jobs that have nothing to do with casinos, just like not everyone in Orlando works for the Mouse.

        1.  It would be interesting to see a quantitative breakdown of how much of Las Vegas’ economy goes through the casinos — you guys are apparently really defensive about this but I’m guessing more than half the money in Las Vegas goes through the casinos.

          It’s fairly obvious there’s a local economy — there’s one everywhere and I never disputed this.  The only question is whether  Las Vegas wastes resources.

          Comparing Las Vegas to Phoenix doesn’t get LV off the hook for its own wastefulness.  I actually think it’s kinda pathetic when people use the “well, those guys are even worse!” excuse.

    3. Don’t bother answering, I’ve already stopped caring about what people that don’t know what they are talking about are going to say.

      Can I get you to extend that to not making comments with the expectation that no one should answer you?

    4. Edward Abbey said a much a generation ago – “The blazing cities feed on the defenseless interior.”

      BTW, if you didn’t care, wtf did you even post a comment?

      I care, because I live in the rural South West where traditional irrigation systems older than our nation are in jeopardy because outsiders move to the big cities and waste vast quantities of water on shit like a green lawn.

  4. The reason they import the water was to circumvent a city-wide ban on open air water features due to water rationing. The casinos were exempted due to their commercial significance (though some of them actually draw from private wells). Because they were not using municipal water—and yes, the water is actually trucked in from out of state—Town Square was not subject to the ban.

  5. I like to think the sign was created by a snarky undergrad who had to spend the summer helping his mafia dad run the place.

  6. By “importing” water, do they mean the water stolen from the Dine Nation to slurry pump the coal from land also stolen from it?
    Because, you know, nothing says “caring about the community” like stealing from the poor communities to your East.

  7. I’m kind of disappointed to hear it’s just a regulatory dodge.  When I first saw the sign I thought there might be some interesting ecological rationale behind it.
    You could imagine that it might be more sustainable (in water terms, if not energy terms) for Vegas to ship in its water from far away.  Globally, sucking a million gallons from a precarious desert water cycle is probably far more damaging than chipping a million gallons off a glacier.
    (Obviously there’s a whole separate argument about whether a city should exist in such a fragile environment to begin with).

  8. “Town Square Las Vegas cares about the environment and community [, in spite of the fact that] we use imported water in our water feature.”
    Fixed that for you.

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