MGM Resorts International Conserves Water In Las Vegas
Las Vegas is a place where water is scarce. The city has an annual average rainfall of just 4.2 inches. Conserving every drop of water possible is important in such an arid place. MGM Resorts International is a company that clearly understands this practice.
Headquartered in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts has focused on water conservation since 2005. Part of MGM Resort’s water conservation efforts are focused on water used outdoors. The Park, the company’s recent addition to the Las Vegas Strip, has a water-efficient landscape. A well provides most of The Park’s water, while a closed-loop system captures, filters and reuses the water that flows in water sculptures. There are drought-tolerant plants, point-source drip irrigation and anemometers that limit water flow. The water conservation efforts have reduced water use by 70 percent.
MGM Resort’s T-Mobile Arena is a 650,000 square-foot venue for shows that is a LEED Gold certified venue. It features water efficient technologies that reduce indoor water use by 40 percent, including low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and low-flow faucets with aerators. The arena also contains water efficient technologies outdoors, such as drought tolerant plants and drip irrigation systems which reduce exterior water use by 80 percent.
MGM Grand Las Vegas has infrastructure for conservation and reclamation that has resulted in about three quarters of the four billion gallons of water MGM Resorts uses a year being put back into Lake Mead. In 2014, it reduced dependence on water from Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country. All of its exterior irrigation and 60 percent of property cooling tower water needs come from well water. In addition, MGM Grand Las Vegas converted natural grass surfaces to water-efficient desert landscaping and artificial turf to reduce exterior water use.
Last year MGM Resorts began partnering with WaterStart, an organization that aims to bring innovative startup companies to Nevada that focus on water conservation. By partnering MGM and other companies, WaterStart will identify, pilot and drive the adoption of innovative water technologies. MGM is focusing on advanced technologies that monitor water use and reduce water used for irrigation, cooling towers and pool filtering that WaterStart identified.
Water use is not the only area where MGM Resorts strives to practice environmental sustainability. In 2014, the company partnered with NRG Renew, a solar energy developer, to install a 6.4 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The PV panels have offset peak electricity demands up to 20 percent, which is enough to power 1,000 homes. The expansion of the Convention Center, completed in 2015, contains a two MW solar PV array. The combined arrays generated enough power to supply 26 percent of the resort’s electricity needs during peak production.
Photo: MGM Resorts International