Before someone gets snarky, please be aware that Las Vegas is a world leader in recycling and reusing water. Rainfall is captured in flood basins, goes through water purification and wetlands, then flows back into Lake Mead to be reused. The entire system works by gravity, no pumps are needed. Vegas has also been toilet-to-tap for years. All indoor water, including toilet water, is filtered, cleaned, and reused. The image shows the wetlands, where water is further cleaned after flowing through treatment plants via the ginormous Las Vegas Wash, which is lined with rubble from torn-down casinos to prevent erosion during flash floods. It’s also a bird sanctuary. Yes, in the Las Vegas area.
However, more can always be done. Nevada is now funding water startups to come up with innovative new ways to manage and save water.
“Nevada is the driest state in the U.S. It’s no surprise there’s demand for technology to help us improve how we manage our water here,” said Allen. “Our hope is that by trying to coordinate demands for innovation we’ll end up attracting a cluster of technology companies, and create an ecosystem that kind of feeds back in on itself.”
WaterStart and its four water partners developed a priority list of innovations they want to encourage. These include water conservation improvements for hotels and commercial kitchens, technologies to capture nitrates and phosphates in wastewater as a resale commodity and identifying operational efficiencies for water utilities.