Energy and agriculture in the drought-stricken western U.S. are suffering as the water supply in some major reservoirs is dwindling. Geologists say we haven’t seen conditions like this in more than 1,000 years.
Lake Mead, which is fed by the Colorado River, provides water for 22 million people in seven states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Lake Powell, which stretches from Arizona to Utah, is also a big part of the water equation in the region.
Now, both Lake Powell and Lake Mead reservoirs are half-empty, and scientists predict that they will probably never fill again, according to the Glen Canyon Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing Colorado River management to fill Lake Mead first and then use Lake Powell as a backup during flood years.
Over the past two decades, the water level in Lake Mead has dropped by 130 feet. It’s now down to 37 percent capacity. On June 9th, the water level dipped to 1,071.57 feet above sea level, narrowly beating a record low last set five years ago.
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