Lake Mead Plummets, Water Restrictions May Be Imminent
Years of drought have taken their toll on Lake Mead, causing a steady drop in lake level since 2000. Lake Mead is currently at its lowest level—1087 feet above sea level—since 1956. Lake level will likely drop even more by the end of this year, reports Shaun McKinnon in the Arizona Republic. If the lake continues to drop and hits 1075 feet above sea level, water deliveries below the lake will drop by about 10%. The majority of this delivery shortfall will be shouldered by Arizona, and will affect farmers in the state first. Conservation efforts are being put in place to keep lake level above the crucial 1075-feet mark, including negotiating a deal with Mexico to allow Mexican farmers, beset by the April earthquake and not yet able to use their full allocation, to store unused irrigation water in the lake.
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