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New projections show dire impact of drought on future water levels – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-10-21 13:05:30 –

Las Vegas (KLAS) —The government released a two-year forecast updated Thursday. This indicates that Lake Mead’s water level will approach a Tier 2 shortage by the end of next year. Tier 1 shortages were declared earlier this year.

“On Lake Mead, October forecasts that Lake Mead will reach 1,050.63 feet at the end of 2022, less than one foot above the Tier 2 deficiency threshold of 1,050 feet. Recent analysis shows. There is about a 16% chance of a Tier 2 shortage in 2023.

These updated forecasts were the first to include updated climatic conditions and forecasts from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA used a 30-year period and was updated to reflect the situation from 1991 to 2020. This is important because it includes the drought that began in 2000 and does not include the 1980s, which was a damp decade.

The Colorado River System serves 40 million people. Most of the flow to the river comes from the Rocky Mountains. 2021 was a particularly dry spring.

Lake Powell has been hit hard by the 22-year drought and will lose even more water under new projections. Lake Powell, a reservoir in four states above the Colorado basin, is predicted to receive only 32% of the 2021 average discharge. This can affect the power generation capacity of Glen Canyon Dam.

According to the Pioneer Department, “The median forecast for water inflow to Lake Powell in 2022 has fallen by 800,000 acre-foot, and the October forecast for the Pioneer Department is lower than the September forecast. It shows that. ”

“We had to make difficult choices this year. If we stay dry next year to protect Lake Mead and Lake Powell, we all have to make more difficult decisions.” , Said Jacklin Gould, Regional Director of the Lower Colorado River at Reclamation.

Lake Mead stores water for downstream states.

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