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What is "the Wash"?
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What is the Wash?
The Las Vegas Wash

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Overview

It's an oasis in the desert! Who would have thought there could be wetlands in this arid environment? But it's true! The Wash is an "urban" river — it exists in its present capacity because of the urban population here in Southern Nevada. It is a flow of water that is comprised of urban runoff, shallow groundwater, reclaimed water, and stormwater. Wetlands are known to act as the "kidneys" of the environment, cleaning the water that runs through them, filtering out harmful residues from fertilizers, oils, and other contaminants that can be found on our roadways and in the surrounding desert. By allowing Mother Nature to filter the water received from the urban landscape, we also reap benefits in improved water quality, creation of habitat for various outdoor activities and wildlife uses, and increased aesthetic value. Many people are not even aware that wetlands exist in our desert environment!

Throughout your visit to our website, you'll learn the history of the Wash — how it came to be, and what's happening with it now.

You'll be able to view photographs taken at various points in time at various locations along the Wash and you'll see how the Wash has changed. It's an ever-evolving environment, one that many people are involved with, helping to maintain equilibrium as it continues to receive more water from the Las Vegas Valley due to population growth.

We invite you to explore our website, get an understanding of your local wetlands, and then venture out to see the beauty for yourself. Experience the Wash and its wetlands, and all they have to offer, from scenic panoramas of the surrounding mountain ranges to wildlife viewing — to experiencing a serenity that comes when you just stand there and listen — forget for a moment that the lights and glitter of Las Vegas are just a few miles away. You'll be glad you did!

Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Team • 100 City Parkway, Suite 700 • Las Vegas, NV 89106 • (702) 822-3300