Nature

Federal water restrictions in the West highlight the severity of the climate crisis


Stephanie Sy:

Judy, today’s water outages demonstrate the continued severity of the drought in the West. Nearly 40 million people in seven states, as well as Mexico, depend on the Colorado River Basin.

Currently, its reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are both less than 30% full. As climate change continues to fuel drier conditions, next year Arizona will lose 21% of its annual river water supply. Nevada will forfeit 8% and Mexico will lose 7% of its allocation.

For more on what it all means, I’m joined by Jennifer Pitt. She has spent years researching and working to protect the ecosystems of the Colorado River Basin, most recently as Program Director for the National Audubon Society.

Jennifer, thank you so much for joining the “NewsHour”.

I want to intervene directly. The United States Bureau of Reclamation has announced that Lake Mead, which provides water to approximately 25 million people, is experiencing an unprecedented level 2 shortage. It was announced today. And that triggered these cuts.

How important are they?


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