Lake Mead was created on the Colorado River on the Arizona-Nevada border when the Hoover Dam was built in the early 1930s. The nation’s largest reservoir is in serious condition as its water levels have dropped less than 150 feet away from the “dead pool.” Because of these low levels, water cannot flow downstream from the dam.
On Wednesday, the water level was recorded at 1,044.03 feet, known to be its lowest elevation since the lake was filled in the 1930s. If the condition doesn’t change, it will take only a few decades for the water level to drop to 895 feet, which will, unfortunately, carry enormous consequences for millions across Arizona, California, Nevada, and parts of Mexico.
In the words of Robert Glennon, an emeritus professor at the University of Arizona, this situation is “deadly serious stuff,”
The lake has reached this point due to Persistent drought conditions over the past two decades, exacerbated by climate change and increased water demands across the southwestern United States. According to Glennon, we are still ahead of the time when the reservoir will eventually become a dead pool.
To tackle this problem, many steps are being taken by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and numerous water managers across the southwestern United States. They are doing their best to manage the flow of water into the Colorado River and regulate water use among states in the region. These efforts are put together to help replenish Lake Mead along with Lake Powell, which was created along the border of Utah and Arizona.
Dead Pool is not in a condition where there won’t be any water left. But it is a level that comes long before the drought. On this level, many fear that water levels could fall so low that hydroelectric power production would be hindered.