Federal Agency Declares First-Ever Water Shortage at Lake Mead

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will lose significant portions of their water supply in 2022 after a U.S. federal agency declared the first-ever water shortage condition at Lake Mead, a massive reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced on Monday that the projected water elevation in Lake Mead for Jan. 1 next year is 1,065 feet, which is 9 feet lower than the level which triggers the shortage condition. As a result, Arizona’s annual water apportionment was reduced by 18 percent or 512,000 acre-feet. An acre-foot is the volume necessary to cover one acre of land with water. Nevada will lose 21,000 feet, and Mexico will lose 80,000 acre-feet, totaling 7 percent and 5 percent of their annual apportionment respectively. “Like much of the West, and across our connected basins, the Colorado River is facing unprecedented and accelerating challenges,” Tanya Trujillo, the …

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