LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A UNLV study shows water usage in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson increased by more than a billion gallons in the months after last year's implementation of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.
The Las Vegas-Review Journal reports that UNLV researchers studied water bills from Henderson homes, businesses and schools from the first four months after the stay-at-home order was announced.
The study found the shift to more people being at home during that time led to roughly 1.1 billion additional gallons of water being used in the city, according to the newspaper.
Nicholas Irwin, an assistant professor of economics at UNLV and one of the authors of the study, said "the increase in residential water usage was so large that it overwhelmed that offsetting effect from schools being closed and from commercial buildings being closed.
Increased handwashing due to the coronavirus likely contributed to the spike in water usage, according to the study.
Irwin said the study's findings underscore the importance of educating new residents on the importance of conservation.
He suspects that same type of residential use would apply to the rest of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, but other jurisdictions weren't studied.