Watch Desert Wars September 25, 2006 at 8 pm on KUED Channel 7
Jamie Cruz: This is our reverse osmosis plant. This is one of several water filtration plants that we have here on our properties. This particular one is a state-of-the-art recycling plant, and it says, "Reclaim and recycle the water that we use at our 3,000 guest rooms at Treasure Island." It is one of the state-of-the-art recycling plants and this particular plant here at Treasure Island allows us to reclaim and recycle the water that is used in the sinks and the showers of the 3,000 guest rooms next door at Treasure Island Hotel.
Interviewer: What are some of the big misconceptions about water use in Las Vegas?
Jamie Cruz: The biggest misconceptions about water use from the hotel and casino industries are first, that we are one of the largest users in Nevada, and secondly that most of our water is used outdoors, and thirdly that we are water wasters. The first issue, actually the numbers show that here in Southern Nevada the hotel gaming water use only represents about 7% of the total usage of water here in the Las Vegas Valley. The second misconception here about us using our water mostly outdoors is also incorrect. The regular profile of the residential use here in this valley is that most of the homes use 70-80% of their water outdoors, and we are the complete opposite. We use 70-80% of our water indoors and all of that water is recaptured through out reclamation systems here in the county and recycled in the plants. The third misconception that we are water wasters is also not true as we strive for high efficiency in our water use, for example here in the Treasure Island Cove we use recycled water from our reverse osmosis plant to fill these water features.
Interviewer: Talk about that a little in depth. Where does this water come from and how do you recycle it?
Jamie Cruz: The water for this Treasure Island Cove comes from the 3,000 guest rooms here at Treasure Island. The water that is used once in the showers and sinks is put through a sophisticated process of filtration called reverse osmosis in a state-of-the-art plant located here at Treasure Island and up to 100,000 gallons of water a day can be processed and reclaimed to fill this water feature.
Interviewer: Tell me about this plant—the purpose of it and how it works.
Jamie Cruz: The reverse osmosis plant is a way that we can reclaim and recycle water that would otherwise be sent through the other normal methods of reclamation here in the county. So our commitment to sustainability is we want to be good partners here in the valley and we believe we're going the extra mile by taking that water and recycling ourselves and using it here for the beautification of the property.
Interviewer: Tell us specifically about the Bellagio's problems and how that water is used.
Jamie Cruz: The Bellagio fountains are mostly using well water that exists beneath the Bellagio landscape. That well water was used previously to maintain a golf course that previously existed there. The beauty of that is the current water use, because of the lake, represents only two-thirds of the water that was used before when the golf course existed, so in reality, the Bellagio uses less water than the golf course that use to be there before. Some of our properties have their own private wells, for example the Bellagio when it was built in 1997. The company purchased the private well that use to exist there for the golf course and currently that well is used again to supply the needs of the lake in front of the Bellagio.
Interviewer: Does any of the water use here affect the residential use of the residents of Las Vegas?
Jamie Cruz: The way the water use is distributed in the valley from numbers from the Southern Nevada Water Authority… the hotel gaming industry only uses 7% of the water here in the valley and the rest of the that consumption, (93%) is represented from the other commercial areas and the residential use. The biggest misconception is that we are water wasters here on the strip when in reality we use most of our water indoors. The water that is used indoors is recycled by the city reclamation plants. That water that is used outdoors is very minimal compared to the residential areas. The numbers show that here in Las Vegas valley the resident profile is actually 70 to 80% outdoor use, and that means that irrigating their yard or washing their cars, whatever is happening outdoors and the other 20 to 30% that is used inside the houses is recovered through the reclamation district.
Interviewer: Talk about the perception that casinos use too much water because they see water features and things like that.
Jamie Cruz: The common misconception by people walking these streets and seeing large bodies of water is that the hotels and casinos are water wasters, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is a high emphasis from our company to raise as much as possible, the efficiency of our resources and water efficiency is just one of those issues that we are striving strongly to achieve.
Interviewer: Could you tell me a little bit about the volcano here and it's water use.
Jamie Cruz: The Mirage volcano was the main attraction in the late '80's here on the Las Vegas strip. The Mirage was the first mega-resort built here in what started the rebirth of Las Vegas as we know it today. The Mirage volcano is renowned worldwide and again is an environmentally friendly feature because it is again, filled by water that we recycle here on our reverse osmosis plant. Here at MGM Mirage we understand that living in the desert, water is one of our most precious resources and we believe it is our civic responsibility to be responsible managers of that resource, so our sustainability plan here in our company calls for high water efficiency among other things, and here at Treasure Island at Mirage, we use recycled water from our plant to fill these features and that fulfills again our sustainable program and it's simply the right thing to do.