The reservoir generates electricity and supplies water to around 25 million people throughout tribal lands, farms and major cities


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Lake Mead generates electricity and also supplies water to 25 million world in Western united States. Ethan fearbut / Getty pictures

Lake Mead struggle record-low water levels critical week, highlighting the significant drought sweeping through the western joined States, report Reuters’ Daniel Trotta and also Andrea Januta.

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Formed by damming the Colorado River, the human body of water is technically a reservoir the the Hoover Dam. Together of critical week, the reservoir is simply 200 feet above “dead pool” level, the suggest in i m sorry water cannot pass v Hoover Dam. A white “bathtub ring” ~ above the lake’s shores marks just how much water has retreated end time. At just 36 percent of full capacity, the water level is decreasing in ~ a quicker rate than previously projected, reports Ian James for Arizona Republic.

Constructed in 1937, Lake Mead is just one of the biggest human-made lakes in the world, extending up to 248 square miles when full, reports Matthew Cappucci for the Washington Post. The reservoir is considered at complete capacity when water rises come 1,219.6 feet above sea level, however it’s maybe to hold a preferably of 1,229 feet of water. In 1983, the lake got to its highest recorded water level in ~ 1,225 feet.

Since 2000, the water level has dropped 140 feet, Reuters reports. The previous document its short water level to be 1,071.6 feet in 2016. Now, the lake has actually ducked just below that level in ~ 1,071.56 feet. Researchers suppose the water will proceed receding for at least the next two years.

“It’s frightening the it"s happening so quickly,” water policy professional Felicia Marcus, who is at this time a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West program, tells the Arizona Republic. “It"s past yellow alert. It"s the red alert,”

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because its highest possible water level in 1983, Lake Mead"s water level has actually dropped more than 150 feet. Ethan fearbut / Getty images

The federal government is plan to explain an main water shortage at Lake Mead in August, which will an outcome in large water cut for Mexico, Arizona and also Nevada. Lake Mead generates electricity and supplies water to around 25 million people across tribal lands, ranches and major cities, consisting of San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Las Vegas obtains around 90 percent the its drink water native Lake Mead, according to the Post.

At least 4.5 million acre of farmland indigenous Wyoming come the U.S.-Mexico border use water indigenous the Colorado River. Around 70 percent the the water support agriculture, lot of which is offered to thrive the country’s winter vegetables.

"We"re just desperately looking to the forecast to see when the monsoon could show up,” claims Michael Crimmins, a university of Arizona climate scientist, in Reuters.

This drought is component of the larger, climate change-induced megadrought affect water resources and fueling wildfires. In 2020, over five million acres in California, Oregon and also Washington shed due to hot and dry conditions. An ext water cuts will certainly ensue if the reservoir proceeds to lower.

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Representatives from the 7 Western states reliant top top the Colorado flow signed the drought Contingency setup two years ago. In doing so, lock pledged come potentially cut water deliveries come Arizona, Nevada and California indigenous Lake Mead till 2026. This action will hopefully minimize risk of Lake Mead’s water level additional dropping.

“We have to acquire off our butts and also go faster on all of it,” claims Marcus in USA Today. “We know what to do. We just have to turn increase the volume.”