Lake Mead supplies about 40% of Arizona’s water supply./ KNAU
Opinion: We’ve known for years that a shortage is coming, but it’s alarming how quick the conditions are changing. The Colorado River system was not set up for this.
By Joanna Allhands | Arizona Republic
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)
Less springtime snowmelt is refilling Lake Powell than Glen Canyon Dam’s engineers had counted on. The reservoir now sits about half empty.
This warm, dry weather we’ve been having may be good for moving activities outside.
But it’s bad news for our water supply.
The chances are growing – and quickly – that a warm, dry winter could push Lake Powell to a trigger point about a year from now that could result in significantly less water for Lake Mead, which supplies about 40% of Arizona’s water supply.
That likely would push Mead into a first-time shortage declaration. And if the same thing were to happen the following year, it would likely plunge Mead into a more severe shortage – a depth from which the lake is unlikely to recover any time soon.
Like I said, bad news.
Why would Mead get less water?