The Optic’s Feb. 14 article, “Six candidates favor Dodge,” quotes Ward 3 Council candidate and Highlands Foundation board member Joe McCaffrey as saying that “... the Highlands Foundation is investing $200,000 to start a brewery here, something that will create jobs.” All well and good, but considering the area’s dire water situation, I found McCaffrey’s suggestion to be really out of touch with the realities of Las Vegas.
I tried to find out how much water is necessary in operating a brewery, and information I located indicated a water-to-end- product ratio of anywhere from 3-7:1. One source (the Water Scarcity Blog) claims that “the quantity of water used to make a liter of beer is significant — the ratio is about 1:300 by one estimate — and that raises the issue of scarcity,” and “... the cleaning and sanitizing requirements of the industry consume massive amounts [of water].”
Brewing industry standards indicate that a brewery “requires production of 3,000 to 5,000 barrels annual sales at wholesale to become profitable.” (Sound Brewing Systems Inc)
During the water issues councilor candidate forum, McCaffrey repeatedly characterized the various water improvement proposals as “no brainers.” Considering the massive costs involved in upgrading our water infrastructure, the lack of funding, and the dire predicament we are in, no aspect of the water problem or the solutions should be dismissed as a “no brainer.” They are all very difficult issues requiring critical consideration, and I don’t think candidate McCaffrey demonstrates the necessary understanding or seriousness.