Fresno

Lake Mead at Hoover Dam reaches lowest water level since its creation – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-06-10 08:16:49 –

Las Vegas-The devastating drought in the western United States has lowered water levels at Lake Mead and Hoover Dam to historically low levels, putting pressure on the region’s drinking water supply and dam capacity.

On Thursday, Lake Mead’s water level sank to the lowest it had since it began to fill during the construction of the Hoover Dam, the Pioneer Department told ABC News.

“Lake Mead is likely to reach 1,071.61 feet on Thursday, June 10, which will match the lowest altitude ever since the 1930s,” said spokesman Patricia Aaron.

Lake Mead and Hoover Dam straddle the border between Arizona and Nevada along the Colorado River, about 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The river supplies drinking water to Arizona, Nevada, and parts of Mexico. The dam will generate electricity in parts of Arizona, California and Nevada.

This week, the lake’s water level reached a new low, but it never bottomed out. “We expect Lake Mead to continue to decline until November 2021,” Aaron said.

Part of the west and the western mountains have been in a nearly continuous drought for decades. The Intermountain West is the region between the Rocky and Cascade Ranges of the Pacific Northwest and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said, “Some years are better than others, and not always everywhere, but the region has enough rainfall to eliminate the deficit. The snowfall has never completely recovered. “

Miller described the drought as a “vicious circle.” In this cycle, dry land reduces evaporation, reduces clouds and the sun, and increases heat and evaporation.

“Climate change clearly plays a role, as it’s all one of the hottest countries in history in recent years. Rising temperatures are causing that vicious cycle, hitting droughts even in normal or above-average rainfall years. It’s getting harder to give, “Miller said. “As we have just seen, one or two below-average rainfall / snow years can have disastrous consequences.”

When Lake Mead falls, so does the electrical output of the dam. According to the Western Area Power Administration, Hoover Dam typically produces about 2,074 megawatts. That’s enough power for nearly 8 million people. Tuesday’s capacity is 1,567 MW, a reduction of about 25%.

“For every foot of the lake that drops, it means that we lose about 6 (megawatts) of capacity,” Aaron said.

Authorities have found no relief and are planning another unprecedented declaration in August, when operational conditions will be set for the following year. According to Aaron, Lake Mead’s Level 1 deficiency could be declared in 2022, requiring surrounding states to implement water-saving measures.

Arizona Water Resources Director Tom Bushatsuke said the water droplets coming from Lake Mead next year “hurts”, but the agency is already working on an emergency response plan.

“Although less water may come from the Colorado River to Arizona in 2022, Arizona water managers and suppliers are taking steps to prepare and the river will remain stable for generations to come. We will continue to work hard, “said Bushatsuke.

CNN has contacted the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources regarding plans for future water demand.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All copyrighted.



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