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mega-drought water shortage

Mega-drought in American West causing water shortage on Colorado River system

Jun 07, 2021


Scientists are calling it a “mega-drought” brought on by climate change.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows large areas of the Southwest are “exceptionally dry,” the worst category.

The mega-drought is taking a dramatic toll on the Colorado River system that provides water to 40 million people in seven states.

It may force the federal government to make a drastic and historic decision.

For more than eight decades, the Hoover Dam has relied on water from Nevada’s Lake Mead.

But now, according to the National Park Service, the lake’s water levels are at historical lows at only 37% capacity, providing very little for the dam to hold back. The lake water has not reached the top of the dam since 2000.

This part of the Colorado River system is a crucial water source for Las Vegas, Phoenix, and southern California.

It makes the vast agricultural land of the desert Southwest possible.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC.