- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas water officials have approved a $45 million “water banking” deal to send enough water for about 300,000 homes annually from Lake Mead to drought-parched Southern California.

Southern Nevada Water Authority board members on Thursday approved selling 150,000 acre-feet of water to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

The Metropolitan district board votes on the deal Monday and Tuesday.

An acre-foot serves about two homes for a year.

Metropolitan chief Jeffrey Kightlinger says the agreement lets his 19 million Southern California customers buy the water during drought and return it, bucket for bucket, when Las Vegas needs it back.

His counterpart in Las Vegas, John Entsminger, says Las Vegas can spare the water because use has been cut by almost one-third since 2002.

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