There has been a severe drought around Lake Mead which has lowered the water level to historic low levels. Officials from the nearby Las Vegas are pushing for conservation but they are also putting up new pipelines which will enable them draw more water from the lake.
Some miles away, farmers who get water from the lake which is just located behind the Hoover Dam are readying themselves for the worst.
The receding shoreline of one of the reservoirs located in Colorado River is raising concerns about the future of a water network which is depended on by more than 40 million people. The water supply also serves more than four million acres of farmland.
For some time now, Marina operators have been hit hard by the receding shoreline. Since the lake was first filled to its shoreline in 1930, water managers, farmers and marina operators are now following every drop of the lake’s water to the southern part of Mexico.
“We hope for snow and rain up in-Colorado, so it will come our way,” said Steve Biggs, a Marina operator. He is referring to precipitation which normally fills the reservoirs that separates Arizona and Nevada.
If the drought continues, water deliveries to both Colorado and Nevada could be cut by a huge margin. Although the authorities have been putting on a brave face and saying that they have been saving water for dry days, imminent cuts are looming.
“I have downsized for the last few years because of the direction which the drought is taking,” Said Dennis Bagnall, a farmer. He planned to keep just 225 of his 1500 acres green at this time of the year.
Last week an eleven million program was rolled out which involved water agencies and federal government in Denver, as Vegas and Phoenix to pay cities, farmers as well as industries so that to induce them to reduce their river water use.
“We can hope for better conditions than what we have experienced in recent years, but we have to continue planning for the worst case scenarios,” said Michael J. Lacer, who is the director at the Arizona-Department of Water-Resources.
This week, an update from the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, the body that keeps Colorado’s river networks, reservoirs and dams will help define how water will be delivered for use within the next two years.
Administrators remain confident that they will be able to meet the current commitments in next year.
Federal officials have said that they are committed to looking for ways which can help make every drop of river water count.
The best way to approach this situation is to ensure that any water surplus is left in wet areas while also sharing the pain which is experienced in dry areas.
But everyone is watching Lake Mead which is the biggest source of water for use in California, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah and part of Mexico.