Hoover Dam's Lake Mead at historic low water level
June 24, 2021 - Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the U.S. and crucial to the water supply of 25 million people, has sunk to its lowest level ever, highlighting the extreme drought gripping the U.S. West.
Lake Mead, formed in the 1930s from the damming of the Colorado River at the Nevada-Arizona border is crucial to the water supply of millions of people in the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.
On June 9, the lake surface fell to 1,071 feet (327 metres) above sea level, dipping below the previous record low set on July 1, 2016.
Roughly 75% of the American west is currently mired in “severe” drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, but the region has been strained by drought conditions for decades.
The climate crisis has amplified effects of the dryness, as rising temperatures obliterated the already sparse snowpack and baked even more moisture out of the landscape.
Scientists say human-influenced climate change has exacerbated the situation.