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Once Was Water

Las Vegas, in the middle of the Mojave Desert, is the driest city in America, yet it leads the United States in sustainable water conservation. The efforts of Las Vegas, in its search for sustainability, have produced promising solutions--technological, political, and financial--providing an on-going global model for any city creating their own sustainable water system.

Everything to do with Las Vegas's water supply and disposal is watched, measured and checked. 40% of the water is recycled for indoor use. Every drop is monitored acoustically to detect possible leaks within 6,500 miles of pipes. The film follows the story of Patricia Mulroy, the controversial founder of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, whose leadership is shaping Colorado River politics, providing a path to safety in the face of intensifying water scarcity.

In addition to a complex and visionary system of recycling wastewater, Southern Nevada's conservation efforts have generated a keen public awareness, and spawned hands-on programs in the public schools to teach about food-growing and water use in the desert.

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