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Lake Mead Shrinks to its Lowest Level In History, What's Next?

May 20, 2016 05:54 AM EDT
Lake Mead
A view of Lake Mead.
(Photo : Andrew/Flickr)

Not all seems good for Lake Mead as its surface level drops to a level like never before - the lowest in all time. The federal water managers said that the water level of the enormous Colorado River reservoir is anticipated to shrink even further, as a result of the ongoing drought.

Since Hoover Dam was completely constructed in the year 1936, the closely controlled and measured Lake Mead reached its lowest point on Wednesday - crossing the 1,074.68 feet point.

According to Las Vegas Sun, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation intends to let the level drop further below the current level - a few feet by the end of next month. Once that happens, it will be refilled by the end of the year to surpass the critical level, which will ensure that no cuts are provided to farms, tribes, residents, and businesses in California, Nevada, and Arizona - the areas falling in the range.

"We have passed the historic low of June 25, 2015," said Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the reclamation bureau according to Fox News

"We expect the lake to continue to drop to levels near 1,070 feet by the end of June. However, they are expected to be back by Dec. 31 above the levels that would trigger a shortage declaration in 2017," Davis added in the same report.

The lake is about 37 percent full. A distinctive white material surrounds it, which is called "bathtub ring".  The Lake Mead water level, since the year 2000, has seen a drop by 130 feet. The year 1983 saw the lake in its full capacity, and never after that did it reach that point.

Almost 2 million residents and 40 million tourists depend on the lake for their drinking water every year. In the seven Southwest states, the river serves around 40 million residents.

The officials in California, Nevada and Arizona, have agreed to a deal to keep the lake alive by giving water to it from their Colorado River.

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