The Colorado River water shortage problem is going to induce new water cuts for the Southwest. The drought-like situations continue to persist and are drying up the river.
Lake Mead and Lake Powell are suffering hugely due to the Colorado River water shortage. They hugely depend upon the river. But the river is approaching Tier 2 of water shortage. And this water shortage is a matter of huge concern for the authorities. Last year, Tier 1 water shortage was applied to the river.
As per the authorities, the households are not reducing their consumption of water, and also, during the past year, there was not much snow and rain. The 1,450-mile river is not able to get enough from the mountain snowpack. The heat waves are causing the water to evaporate a lot.
This has forced the government to apply water cuts for the Southwest to handle the Colorado River water shortage problem. The water levels in the river have been on the declining side since January. This has impacted Lake Mead worst. And the lake is revealing new things due to its lowering levels.
If the conditions do not improve, the water level of Lake Mead will fall further. As per estimations, the water level will reach below the 1,050 level mark above sea level, and Tier 2 shortage will be officially declared. The authorities have already planned to start working under Tier 2 to stop this situation from happening.
In case of a Tier 2 shortage, water cuts are applied to reduce water consumption. Arizona, Mexico, and Nevada will be affected by these cuts, and the water supply they get from the Colorado River will be reduced. Arizona would face the largest reduction in supply as compared to others. The water cuts are planned as below:
- Arizona: Cut of 592,000 acre-feet of water, which is 21% of its yearly allotment.
- Nevada: Cut of 25,000 acre-feet of water, which is 8% of its yearly allotment.
- Mexico: Cut of 104,000 acre-feet of water, which is 7% of its yearly allotment.
California has not taken any decision yet on this.
The authorities are appealing to the households and industries to use the water most efficiently. The Biden government has asked concerned states to come up with plans to manage this situation. Interstate negotiations are also being done.