Denver, Colorado 2021-06-11 10:36:57 –
Albuquerque, New Mexico-The Colorado River’s main reservoir has fallen to record lows at the latest show of drought grips in the region.
The surface elevation of Lake Mead along the Nevada-Arizona border dropped to 1,071.56 feet on Wednesday evening at 11:00 pm. According to the US Pioneer Department, this level was last hit in July 2016, 18.5 feet lower than it was a year ago. This is the lowest level since Lake Mead was buried in the 1930s.
“We expect the reservoir to continue to decline until November, after which it should begin to recover,” said Patty Aaron, a spokesman for the US Development Agency.
Water levels affect the recreation industry, one of the country’s largest artificial reservoirs, and the efficiency of hydropower at Hoover Dam.
It will not be used to determine next year’s water supply to Arizona, California and Nevada until August, when the Pioneer Department announces official forecasts. Already, the agency said it was expected to declare the first ever shortfall in Arizona and Nevada to encourage cuts.
“People are certainly worried,” Aaron said. “You look at the reservoir and you’re worried about it.”
The water level of Lake Mead fluctuates throughout the year, depending on weather patterns and the amount of water consumed or evaporated. Authorities predict the lake will fall to 1,064 feet before rebounding in November, when agricultural demand declines, Aaron said.
States, bodies of water, and tribes have supported Lake Mead for many years through various agreements to prevent it from falling until it is unable to reach downstream.
The Colorado River supplies 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, and $ 5 billion in agriculture annually.
Key reservoir on Colorado River hits record low amid drought Source link Key reservoir on Colorado River hits record low amid drought