Record droughts are occurring around the world. It is a dangerous phenomenon that is caused by climate change as a result of human activity. Many natural water reservoirs have dried up or are facing water shortages. The water shortage also affects the largest water reservoir in the United States, which is Lake Mead. It is a reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in the Southwestern United States.
An important source of water is disappearing
Lake Mead provides water to the states of Arizona, California, and Nevada as well as some of Mexico. It provides water for nearly 25 million people, and if this source of water were to disappear, it would be a very serious problem for many regions. NASA has released photos that show the massive loss of water since 2000.
Continuing a 22-year downward trend, water levels in Lake Mead stand at their lowest since April 1937, when the reservoir was still being filled for the first time. As of July 18, 2022, Lake Mead was filled to just 27 percent of capacity. https://t.co/qwgabmDJOG pic.twitter.com/iNMbuT5zbh
— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) July 22, 2022
NASA has stated that the water level in Lake Mead is at its lowest level since 1937. This year, the lake began to fill for the first time. As of July 18, 2022, the lake reached 27% of its capacity . In order for water turbines to operate, the minimum elevation of the water surface must be above 1,000 feet above sea level. The current height is 1041 feet, so it is approaching the critical point.
A desperate situation for millions of people
There has been a significant drop even since last year. A huge number of people depend on this source of water and the falling level is very scary. According to the U.S. Drought monitor, 74 percent of nine Western states are currently reporting some degree of drought, and 35 percent are suffering severe levels of drought.
“The largest reservoir in the United States supplies water to millions of people across seven states, tribal lands, and northern Mexico,” NASA Earth Observatory’s news release reads. “It now also provides a stark illustration of climate change and a long-term drought that may be the worst in the U.S. West in 12 centuries.”
— CNN (@CNN) July 22, 2022
Since 2000, the level in the lake has only been decreasing. This is not the only reservoir that has problems. Other water sources are also at a critical level. This includes, for example, Lake Powell, which is located in northern Arizona and southern Utah. The US Southwest is experiencing difficult times, and it is difficult to predict how the climate will continue to develop and whether the situation will improve.
Image credit: NASA