IWestern America is going without water. For the first time in the country’s history, the Washington government declared a state of emergency in Colorado, one of the longest and most important rivers in the region. After heat waves and a historic drought, the water levels of reservoirs such as Mead Lake and Powell Lake, which are fed by the 2,300-kilometer-long river, have dropped dramatically in recent months. For Lake Mead on the border between the states of Arizona and Nevada, the Land Recovery Bureau on Tuesday announced a water level of 325.4 meters above sea level, the lowest level since the Hoover Dam was built 80 years ago. Lake Powell, the Colorado Dam reservoir, was only one-third full Tuesday. The United States Drought Monitor, meanwhile, has declared more than 95 percent of the western United States as drought areas.
The first phase of the water shortage, announced by the U.S. Bureau of Rescue on Monday, provides for a supply cut from January 1, 2022. The savings affected farmers, especially in Arizona and Nevada, and parts of Mexico. “We have taken precautionary measures and made a plan for the worst case scenario, but we are not prepared for the worst,” said John Endsminger, chairman of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Broadcaster CBS, among other things.
Do without one-fifth of the water supply
Meanwhile, the neighboring state of Arizona expects more savings in the west. Farms in the Grand Canyon state must cut off one-fifth of the water supplied by the Colorado River by January, about eight percent of its total water needs. After successive periods of drought, state farmers have been experimenting with water-saving cultivation methods and heat-thriving crops for years. Most of the arable land is now barren to store water. Meanwhile, the state government dug up groundwater reservoirs and drew up plans to supply water from remote areas of Arizona to cities such as Phoenix and Duson.
“There is no doubt that climate change is here. We can see him every day on every riverbed in Colorado and the West,” said Tanya Trujillo, deputy director of the Department of Water and Science at the Department of the Interior when announcing water conservation on Monday. To create a strategy for the future, all situations must be played out. “We have to explore every possibility of hydrology with every agency in the Colorado River.”
If the water level in America’s largest man-made Lake Meat Reservoir continues to fall, the Department of the Interior plans to reduce the next tax. If the water level is less than 320 meters above sea level, the second level restrictions are threatening. According to the farms, cities in the west and Indian reservations should significantly reduce water consumption by 2023.
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