Potential Colorado River water outage: Lake Mead at Hoover Dam to reach lowest water level in decades

Water levels in Lake Mead on May 13, 2015, when its surface elevation dropped below 1,080 feet.

Foto:
Archivo/Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

A drought giant in the western United States is lowering the level of Water at Lake Mead and Hoover Dam at a historically low level, and this puts pressure on the supply of drinking water of the region and in the electrical capacity of the dam, according to CNN.

On Tuesday, the level of Water on Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, fed by the Colorado River, It fell below the elevation of 1,075 feet. That mark has been hit only a handful of times since the Hoover Dam was completed in the 1930s, but it was always picked up shortly thereafter. He may not recover soon this time.

By Thursday, Lake Mead’s water level is expected to sink to its lowest level since it began to fill during the construction of the Hoover DamAccording to the spokeswoman for the Claim Office, Patricia Aaron.

“Most likely Lake Mead will reach the elevation of 1,071.61 (feet) on Thursday June 10th. That will match the lowest elevation on record since the 1930s, ”Aaron said.

Lake Mead and Hoover Dam straddle the Arizona-Nevada state line along the Colorado River, about 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

The river provides drinking water to Arizona, Nevada and part of Mexico. The dam generates electricity for parts of Arizona, California and Nevada.

While it is expected that the level of Water the lake reaches a new low this week, it will not reach the bottom. “We anticipate that the elevation of Lake Mead will continue to decline through November 2021,” Aaron said.

Continued drought

Parts of the west and intramontane west have been in conditions of drought almost continuous for decades. The so-called Intermountain West is the area between the Rocky Mountains and the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest and the Sierra Nevada mountains in California.

“Some years are better than others and not in all places at all times, but the region has never fully recovered with enough rain and snowfall to erase the deficit,” said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

Meteorologists fear that the exceptional conditions of drought observed in the western states can cause serious fires.

Data is reported weekly. The map represents the analysis as of Tuesday, June 1. Source: US Drought Monitor.

Miller described the drought as a “vicious cycle” in which dry land leads to less evaporation, which leads to fewer clouds and more sun, which equates to more heat and evaporation.

“The climate change it’s clearly playing a role, as the last few years have been among the hottest in history. Warmer temperatures are driving that vicious cycle, making it difficult for years of normal or even above-average rainfall to take a toll on the droughtMiller said. “When there is a year or two of below average rainfall / snowfall, as we have just seen, the results are disastrous.”

As the water level falls, it is anticipated that it will become scarce

With no relief in sight, officials are planning another unprecedented declaration in August, which is when operating conditions are set for the following year.

A level 1 shortage condition is likely to be declared by 2022 for Lake Mead, the Office of Reclamation spokeswoman said, Patricia Aaron to CNN, which means surrounding states will have to implement water saving measures.

The level of Water at Lake Mead it also influences the dam’s electrical production.

The Hoover Dam typically produces about 2,074 megawatts, according to the Western Area Power Administration. That is enough electricity for almost 8 million people. Generation capacity Tuesday was 1,567 megawatts, a drop of about 25%.

“Each foot of decrease in the lake level means approximately 6 (megawatts) of lost capacity,” he explained. Patricia Aaron.

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