Drought -- and neighbors -- press Las Vegas to conserve water

Deep beneath Lake Mead, a 23-foot-tall tunnel-boring machine grinds through stubborn bedrock in a billion-dollar effort to make sure water continues flowing to this thirsty resort city.

For six years, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has been building an intake straw below the reservoir's two existing pipes. Due for completion in fall 2015, critics say it may not provide a long-term solution.

An ongoing drought and the Colorado River's stunted flow have shrunk Lake Mead to its lowest level in generations. The reservoir, which supplies 90% of Las Vegas' water, is ebbing as though a plug had been pulled from a bathtub drain. By mid-April, Lake Mead's water level measured just 48 feet above the system's topmost intake straw.

Read full text in the LA Times