The recession of the massive lake that straddles Nevada and Arizona is symbolic of a long-standing problem that just got a lot worse: The Colorado River’s record-low flows and the shrunken reservoirs of lakes Mead and Powell (pictured above) for the first time have triggered big cuts in the amount of water allowed to flow downstream.
Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico depend on the Colorado River water to supply electricity to light the towns and run the air conditioners, and the water to green up the desert and grow crops. And for the past 14 years, there is less water in the river than any time in the past 1,200 years.
Lake Powell, upstream on the river, is losing most of its water to drought. Farther down the river, Lake Mead is being sucked dry by Las Vegas and agricultural…
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