An extreme drought has ravaged the west coast for several years now. The water level at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada had significantly decreased, reported CBS News.
Lake Mead is 144.69 feet below full pool, or 37 percent of its full capacity, and the lake isn’t getting replenished. The lake’s outflows are approximately 6.5 million acre feet. Since January, the lake’s water level has decreased an inch per day. Not only is Lake Mead a recreational attraction, but it’s also a much-relied on water supply for the state of Nevada.
As Lake Mead’s water level decreases, it gets closer to sinking under the intake valves that transfer water throughout the area for public use. Addicting Info noted that “if the level goes below 1,075 feet it would trigger a water shortage as the intake valves for the water supply lie just under that point at 1,050 and 1,000.”
Scientists say that global warming may be the culprit of the drought that is sapping western water sources.
“The drought is made of two components: not enough rain and too much heat,” said Princeton climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer. “The rain deficit isn’t clearly connected to climate change, but the planetary warming has made it more likely that the weather would be hotter in California.”
The New York Times pieced together a short video explaining the drought, which mainly affects Nevada, California, and Arizona.
In Lake Mead’s case, heavy water use is contributing to how drastically the water level has plummeted.
This is the state of our water supplies. Two recent studies from the University of California showed that groundwater sources around the world are depleting faster than they are being replenished.
“The situation is quite critical,” said Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. “The water table is dropping all over the world. There’s not an infinite supply of water.”
If human are going to survive the climate change crisis, better efforts need to be made for its impending onset. We need to prepare the devastating affects of climate change. However, climate change-denying Republicans are the biggest roadblock to environmental progress.