Leaking Las Vegas: West’s Biggest Reservoir Nears Critical Threshold
Lake Mead, which serves as the biggest reservoir of the river’s water, resumed its decline this year after the region returned to drought conditions. As of Wednesday, it stood at 1,078 feet, about 150 feet below its peak.
If Lake Mead’s water levels fall below the 1,075 feet threshold, it could trigger the first ever federal shortage declaration on the Colorado River – which experts say could undermine the Southwest’s economy.
Farmers in Arizona – which would be among the first states hit with cutbacks – are taking precautionary measures. Officials of the Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District, which could lose about half its Colorado River water if a shortage were declared, say they are working on alternatives such as digging more wells