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While the odds of winning it big in Las Vegas may still be (excruciatingly) low, the odds that the bustling Strip will run dry in 13 years are getting better by the day. A new study by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography estimates there is a 50% chance the Strip will run out of water by 2021 if no significant cutbacks are made - and a 10% chance it could run out as soon as 2014.Las Vegas currently gets most of its water - around 90% - from Lake Mead, one of the U.S.'s largest man-made lakes and reservoirs, which is located on the Colorado River. As Adam Tanner reports, Tim Barnett, a marine research physicist and a co-author on the study, believes climate change, evaporation and strong demand have all contributed to the problem. "The biggest change right now is taking more water from the bucket than we are putting into it," Barnett told Tanner.
How soon the water runs dry will depend on the natural fluctuations of the Colorado River, Barnett explained. Officials at the Southern Nevada Water Authority are scrambling to find alternate sources as they warily embraced the study's results; urban consumers alone shouldn't be made to bear the weight of higher conservation measures, a spokesman said, explaining that agriculture still accounts for a large proportion of the water's use.
Via ::Reuters: Las Vegas water source could run dry by 2021 (news website)