January 4, 2012--Las Vegas needs to let the market decide where the water goes (High Country News)

The famous slogan, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," once assured visitors that they were exempt from the wages of sins committed in the city of lights. It was the inspired product of the Las Vegas convention and tourism bureau. Not to be outdone, the local water authority is still promising cheap water in the middle of a scorching desert. Try to figure this out: A family of four in Las Vegas pays $1 a day for 400 gallons of water; meanwhile, a family of four in Atlanta -- with 13 times the precipitation -- pays $2 for the same amount of water. While most big cities sit on the banks of a river, lake or ocean, bone-dry Las Vegas owes its existence to Hoover Dam, 34 miles away. The dam is the source of the region's cheap water and power.

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