Things continue to get worse as water levels in drought-stricken Lake Mead have now reached historic lows, with a measurement of 1,044.03 feet – which marks its lowest point since the lake was created 150 years ago.
The country’s largest freshwater reservoir is quickly approaching “dead pool” status, meaning it will soon be unable to flow downstream from the dam because the water levels are so low.
At 895 feet, the dam will reach dead pool status, which could still be a few years away yet, but growing demand and consistent droughts are putting millions of people residing in Arizona, Nevada, California and a part of Mexico at risk of not having drinking water, electricity and irrigation for crops.
The worry is that the low levels of the lake will affect the hydroelectric power production produced by the dam – less water equals less pressure, and this results in lower electricity output, potentially leaving millions without an alternative source of power.
Lake Mead sits on the border between Nevada and Arizona on the Colorado River and was created when the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s.
States have now been warned that they must reduce their water consumption and the Interior Department has warned the seven states that rely on the Colorado River to drastically reduce water usage over the next two months with the hope that water levels will recover.
Lake Powell has also dropped to dangerous levels and both lakes are only at 28 percent capacity. Situated on the Utah-Arizona border, Lake Powell is expected to drop an extra 30 feet by March next year, only 16 feet away from not being able to produce any electricity.
It’s a good thing Joe Biden wants us all to buy electric vehicles – that we will never be able to charge, but anyway.
The flow in the Colorado River has dropped by over 20 percent since 2000 and is regularly overused, the federal government declared a short for the first time and farmers in parts of Arizona are unable to plant crops and are leaving the fields dry.
California, Nevada and Arizona used around 7 million acre-feet of water from the Colorado River last year, but Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton said there needs to be significant cutbacks made – by at least 2 to 4 million acre-feet if the reservoir is to stay out of critical levels.
John Entsminger, the Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager warned, “What has been a slow-motion train wreck for 20 years is accelerating, and the moment of reckoning is near.
“We are 150 feet (of elevation in Lake Mead) from 25 million Americans losing access to Colorado River water.”
Boaters hoping to enjoy Lake Mead, are also losing out as ramp closures are forcing them to the one and only launch ramp that is available because the water levels are so low.
Visitors are also getting stuck in the now exposed mud, which dries hard on the top from the constant sun but are not as solid as they appear.