MGM Resorts International Reduce Its Water Footprint Within the Desert City

At MGM Resorts International, we believe water is the planet’s most valuable natural resource. This belief informs our attitude and approach to water management across our company, but especially in our hometown, the desert city of Las Vegas. With more than 55,000 employees in Southern Nevada, MGM is the region’s largest employer, we believe we have a responsibility to conserve water resources, and set an example for others to follow.

Our focus on water conservation began in 2005, led by our chairman and CEO, Jim Murren, and governed by our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Board Committee. Since then, MGM Resorts has implemented a wide range of process and technology improvements to manage and reduce our water footprint, inside and outside our world-renowned resorts such as ARIA, Bellagio and Mandalay Bay.

Our company’s water conservation efforts are strengthened by the forward-thinking leadership of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) which has created some of the world’s best infrastructure for water conservation and reclamation. In fact, due to this infrastructure, approximately three quarters of the 4 billion gallons of water MGM Resorts uses annually in our Las Vegas properties, is rapidly replenished back into Lake Mead.

The Park: A water-smart oasis on the Las Vegas strip

Conservation of outdoor water is particularly important as water used outdoors does not readily get replenished. One example of how MGM has focused on outdoor water is in The Park, our recent addition to the Las Vegas Strip. Created as a microcosm of the Mojave Desert, The Park provides a serene and beautiful water-smart landscape in the heart of the City. An existing well provides the majority of The Park’s water, and a closed-loop system captures, filters, and reuses the water flowing in water sculptures. Local and/or drought tolerant plant species are planted, and point-source drip irrigation and anemometers are used to limit water flow. Together, these water-conservation technologies save millions of gallons of water per year, 70% less than if the investments had not been made.

T-Mobile Arena: A water efficient venue for more sustainable shows

One of MGM’s newest developments is the 650,000 square feet T-Mobile Arena, a cutting edge LEED Gold ® certified venue featuring shows from some of the world’s most celebrated entertainers. The Arena was designed with water efficient technologies that lead to 40% reduction in indoor water use: waterless urinals; low-flow toilets (1.28 gallons per flush) and low-flow faucets with aerators (0.35 gallons per minute). The Arena’s exterior is also water efficient, with drought tolerant native/adaptive species and drip irrigation systems, leading to 80% reduction in exterior water compared to typical landscape design.

WaterStart: A technology start-up with a difference

As well as investing in water efficient technologies for our operations, MGM is investing in long term innovation for the water sector as a whole. In early 2016, MGM formed a partnership with WaterStart, an organization that brings innovative water-focused startup companies to the State of Nevada. Working with MGM and other partners, WaterStart will identify, pilot and drive market adoption of cuttingedge water technologies.

For potential future use in our own operations, MGM is focusing on advanced technologies identified by WaterStart that monitor water use, and that reduce water used for irrigation, cooling towers, and pool filtering.

These are just a few examples of many water conservation efforts undertaken by MGM Resorts. We plan to continue investing in technologies that help us measure, manage and reduce our water use. And through our funding and support of WaterStart, hope to enable breakthrough innovations that help the world reduce its reliance on this most precious of commodities: water.

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in From Scarcity to Abundance: Business Solutions for a Water Constrained World.]