Drought has Southwest states facing water supply cuts from Lake Mead

By on June 4, 2015

Lake Mead. (Credit: Kjkolb/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Lake Mead, the country’s largest manmade lake and a crucial water supply for Arizona, Nevada and California, is facing significant lows that could lead to serious water shortages and supply cuts in a couple years, experts say.

A recent article in the Durango Herald explains the serious impact years of drought have had, and will continue to have, on Lake Mead. If levels drop further, Lake Mead may be unable to provide water for over 620,000 homes in Arizona and Nevada, about 15 percent of what it currently services.

This May, Lake Mead was at low capacity only 37 percent. Lake Mead levels were only two feet above the level at which supply cuts would be triggered. However, if Lake Powell, a reservoir that releases water to Lake Mead, stays above its own trigger point, Lake Mead will be able to continue serving water up to a thirsty tri-state population.

Authorities stressed that water conservation by the populations of the affected states will have a significant impact on water supply, and it is important for those populations to do what they can to use less water, regardless of any actual shortage which may occur in a couple years.

Top image: Lake Mead. (Credit: Kjkolb/CC BY-SA 3.0)

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