Should the Southern Nevada Water Authority Raise Rates?


You might not care about Southern Nevada Water Authority general manager Pat Mulroy’s struggle to keep the Las Vegas Valley hydrated, but you’ll undoubtedly notice if your water bill goes up.

With the SNWA’s infrastructure construction loans coming due, and no end in sight to the draining of Lake Mead, Mulroy and company are in a tight spot. They say the agency needs more funds to keep the tap on.

But don’t take their word for it. In 2012, the SNWA set up an advisory committee—business people, conservationists, neighborhood activists and political leaders—to get the community’s recommended solution. The Integrated Resource Advisory Committee was born.

After a year of meetings, the IRPAC made its recommendations on September 4. The whole package is complicated (it covers commercial fire line charges, debt service funds, new connection fees and more), but the part that’s got everyone talking is an increase in the price consumers would pay. Typical residential customers would see their monthly water bills increase by just over a dollar each year for the next four years, if the plan is approved. The exact increase would vary based on property size and water use.

There’s a public hearing on the recommendations Thursday, Sept. 26, but why wait? Check out the full recommendations and tell us what you think.


Are you willing to pay more for a resource as rare as Mojave Desert water? Are you convinced the drought is a ruse to squeeze more money out of taxpayers? Sound off in the comments section below.

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