As per a new report, a massive reservoir that supplies water to tens of millions of people in the Western US is now facing the worst-case scenario.
The Colorado basin is at such low levels that people must reduce their usage significantly next year. The culprit is a terrible drought that is now threatening Lake Mead, the biggest US artificial reservoir fed by the Colorado River.
Here is what you need to know.
The Colorado Basin’s Future is Bleak
A recent report reveals Lake Mead’s current situation: the Colorado River offers just a third of its capacity. This is an unprecedented and accelerating challenge that the river experiences, and researchers worry that it could soon turn into something worse.
How will this affect populations?
The federal water resources agency stated that areas downstream of Lake Mead would get less water starting in January. Such a thing is shocking and worrying.
And as if it wasn’t enough, Arizona’s water supply will lower by approximately a fifth, while Mexico will see a 5 % reduction, and Nevada will receive 7 % less.
“The only way to address these challenges and climate change is to utilize the best available science and to work co-operatively across the landscapes and communities that rely on the Colorado River,” explained Tanya Trujilo, an official with the federal water resources agency.
As per a study from 2019 by the USGS (the US Geological Survey), the Colorado River’s flow has lowered by an average of 20 % over the last century. That means at least half of that reduction is linked to increasing temperatures.
The global warming triggered by people’s activity, such as burning fossil fuels, has driven Earth’s average surface temperature to reach 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius). And the researchers found that the increase has happened in the last five decades.
Now, 800 million people are estimated to experience massive water scarcity because of the drought and the 2 degrees Celsius of warming.
More information will be available soon!