It is with great dismay that I read the discussion about the proposed water rate hike in the City of Las Vegas. As a county resident in the Ojitos Frios area, I have neighbors who have been on catchment systems for years due to their wells going dry. I have neighbors who have drilled new wells to find no water or to have them go dry again. I have neighbors who have lost their homes to foreclosure because they could not afford another water system. I have neighbors who haul water weekly. I have neighbors who only shower three times a week, collect shower water for any outside watering, use grey water where possible on a regular basis. I have neighbors who have joined the El Creston Water Association in an effort to try to find alternative ways to provide water to the residents so that people can continue to stay on their property.
Our Sheridan Fire Department has water for the building because of the generosity of a private well close by, but when there is a fire they have to go to Tecolote to fill up because the private well cannot produce at a high enough rate to use for a fire.
I have personally spent over $6,000 to have a catchment system in place for when my well goes dry. I no longer have the luxury of thinking it might not go dry. These realities have all come about since the City of Las Vegas started pumping the Taylor Wells.
More than 60 wells have gone dry in the Ojitos Frios/Sheridan area. How many residences in Las Vegas have lost their water supply?
Asking city residents to pay 26 percent more is peanuts compared to what my neighbors have had to pay. I would love the option of paying only 26 percent more to a water bill to ensure an unlimited supply of water when I turn on the tap. I will be long dead before my investment to keep my property with running water would equal the cost being asked of city residents.
Let’s get real here. There is a drought. The City of Las Vegas is using whatever resources it can to help obtain water resources for city residents, albeit at a huge cost to some residents in the county. Water is a precious resource. Start paying what is required and concurrently treat it like the precious resource it is and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.