What is "the Wash"?
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What is the Wash?
4 Flow Components


Stormwater flows in the Wash are often unpredictable and without proper planning they can have destructive consequences. As the population in the Las Vegas Valley grows, infrastructure must accommodate this growth and as a result more concrete lined channels are built to divert stormwater flows away from our homes and towards the Wash.

Rain water floods Monson Channel at Stephanie Road.

As stormwater moves through the Las Vegas Valley, the only protection we have is in flood channels (as in the above photo) and detention basins. Detention basins are used to temporarily hold back the stormwater but once they reach full capacity, it is necessary to release the water. As an example of how much stormwater can contribute to flows in the Wash, during the July 1999 100-year storm event, approximately 16,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of stormwater made its way down the Wash. This is in stark contrast to the 225-250 cfs that normally flows in the Wash each day.

Because stormwater poses a threat to life and personal property for Southern Nevadans, it was apparent that there be a coordinated effort to control stormwater throughout the Las Vegas Valley. So, in 1985 the Clark County Regional Flood Control District (CCRFCD) was created to "develop a coordinated and comprehensive master plan to solve flooding problems, to regulate land use in flood hazard areas, to fund and coordinate the construction of flood control facilities, and to develop and contribute to the funding of a maintenance program for master plan flood control facilities." The CCRFCD also provides public education regarding flood dangers, monitors rainfall and flow data during storms, and disseminates information to appropriate public works and safety crews.

To find out more about stormwater in the Las Vegas Valley, visit the Stormwater Quality Management Committee.

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