Rob Mrowka, a Las Vegas-based scientist at the Centre for Biological Diversity, which brought the legal case against the pipeline, said: “It’s a really dumb-headed proposition.
It would provide a false sense of security that there’s plenty of water and it would delay the inevitable decisions that have to be taken about water conservation and restricting growth. And as the water situation becomes more dire we are going to start having to talk about the removal of people (from Las Vegas).” Mr Mrowka cited Lake Las Vegas, a mega-resort where stars including Celine Dion live, as one of the “most egregious examples” of wasting water.
Laid end to end in an 18-inch strip it would stretch 90 per cent of the way around the Earth.
“I’ve lost count of how much grass I’ve ripped up,” said Matt Baroudi, 53, an award-winning British landscape designer who moved to Las Vegas 15 years ago and installs eco-friendly gardens and back yards.
Tying up his 15ft boat at the water’s edge Tom Merrit, 51, who has fished on the lake for years, pointed to the top of a faraway hill and said: “My boat used to be right up there.
We’ve had to keep moving down and down as the water recedes.” “That rock never used to be there,” he added, gesturing to a newly-emerging island several hundred feet long.
Mr Barnett predicts it may be a “dead pool” that provides no water by about 2036.
The lake currently looks as if someone has removed a giant plug from it.
But a judge has refused permission after environmentalists sued on the basis that it would adversely affect 5,500 acres of meadows, 33 miles of trout streams, and 130,000 acres of habitat used by sage grouse, mule deer, elk and pronghorn, an antelope-like creature that is endangered in the region.
The court heard that 25 species of Great Basin springsnails would be pushed toward extinction.
“I go boating on Lake Mead and I’ve watched it dry up. You see a rock poking out and then three weeks later it’s 15ft high.
I don’t know what they are going to do.” There is pressure on the neighbouring state of California to take pity on Las Vegas and give it water.
“It’s really sad because this used to be a great lake.