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Lake Mead water at lowest since Hoover Dam construction as shortage continues

PHOENIX – Lake Mead has fallen to its lowest level since the reservoir was filled in the 1930s following the construction of the Hoover Dam, marking a new milestone for the water-deprived Colorado River in a downward spiral that shows no sign of loosening.

The reservoir near Las Vegas holds water for towns, farms, and tribal lands in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Mexico. Years of relentless drought and higher temperatures due to climate change are reducing theflow into the lake, contributing to Colorado’s large mismatch between water demands and dwindling supplies.

The lake’s rapid decline exceeded expectations just a few months ago. Its surface hit a new low on Wednesday night when it surpassed the altitude of 1,071.6 feet, a record set in 2016. But unlike that year, when the inflows helped push the lake level up. , the watershed is now so parched and depleted that East Mead is expected to continue declining next year and into 2023.

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country, now represents only 36% of its full capacity.

Previously:The Hoover Dam, a symbol of the modern West, faces epic water shortage

Federal government expected to declare official Lake Mead shortage this summer

Over the past month, Mead has already fallen below the official shortage line, which the federal government is expected to declare in August. This will trigger major cuts in water allocations for Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico next year. And even larger water cuts could be imposed on the southwest if the reservoir continues to decline, which the government estimates are likely.

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