Well, here's a new one I had forgotten was sitting on my camera from my most recent return:
In case it's hard to see, here's what it says:
they're just saving water.
Remember, this is a desert.
Water is served by request only
at participating restaurants.
The billboard is from the Water Conservation Coalition, which is a fancy way of saying the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Vegas region's governmental agency responsible for dealing with water use issues. After rooting around, I found this site, which explains that the Nevada Restaurant Association is working with the SNWA to create the Water Upon Request program.
The site claims that more than 180 restaurants have signed up to participate and some menus even have stickers "that indicate the restaurant's support of conservation by serving water only upon request." They're supposed to look, I believe, like this to your right.
Now, I eat out. A lot. I've never seen such a thing. Have any of you? If so, where? 180 restaurants? Really?
I searched all over the Web and found such old newspaper references to this idea in the Las Vegas press that both writers are now deceased. One was a 2003 Las Vegas Sun column by the late Ruthe Deskin that claimed 120 local restaurants were doing this. Another was a piece in the Review-Journal in March 2004 by the late Rod Smith that didn't actually talk about this as a SNWA program but said that Boyd and Station casinos both has "water upon request" programs in most or all of their restaurants. I was at the TGIF's at Suncoast just tonight and they brought us water without our asking. That's owned by Boyd.
By the by, this order form allows restaurateurs to get menu stickers as well as coasters, pens and paycheck inserts (?!?). Has anyone out there who does NOT work for the Southern Nevada Water Authority ever seen any of these things?