Two largest reservoirs in US hit lowest water levels amid megadrought

Washington, Jul 29 (IANS): Amid an ongoing megadrought, the water levels of Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two largest reservoirs in the US, have dropped to historic lows in the past two months.

According to the latest information updated by the US Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday, Lake Powell, the country's second-largest reservoir, had dropped to 3,554.36 feet above sea level, 145.64 feet below full pool of 3,700.00 feet and below the previous low of 3,555.1 feet set in April 2005, reports Xinhua news agency.

Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River in the states of Utah and Arizona, was built in 1963 with maximum water capacity in the country behind downriver Lake Mead, storing 30 billion cubic metres of water when full.

The all-time highest water level of the reservoir was reached on July 14, 1983, during one of the heaviest Colorado River floods in recorded history.

The lake rose to 3,708.34 feet at that time.

The reservoir is now at just 33 per cent of its full capacity and is more than 110 feet below the 1981 to 2010 average.

Officials have closed some of the lake's busiest marinas due to the low water levels.

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country in terms of water capacity formed by the Hoover Dam, and another critical reservoir along the Colorado River, also reached historic lows in June and continued going down since then.

Lake Mead's lowest water level was set on July 23 at 1,067.59 feet.

On Wednesday morning, the figure was 1,067.79 feet, still 161.21 feet below the full pool of 1,229.00 fee.

Officials predicted that Lake Mead, located crossing the states of Nevada and Arizona, would dip to a level in August that would trigger shortage conditions for the next year, forcing states that rely on the river to activate water-saving measures.

Meanwhile, a 24-month study for the future of Lake Powell conducted by the federal government this spring projected that the reservoir could fall below a crucial threshold of 3,525 feet by April next year.



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Title: Two largest reservoirs in US hit lowest water levels amid megadrought

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