Water Levels in Lake Mead Reach Record Lows

Lake Mead, North America’s largest artificial reservoir, formed on the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona, has shrunk to historic lows—dropping to about 30 percent of its capacity. The reservoir is a major source of water for Arizona, Nevada, and California, as well as part of Mexico, serving nearly 25 million people and huge agricultural areas. A combination of drought, climate change, and growing regional demand for water have driven the reservoir to its lowest levels since the 1930s; its water level is now 1,050 feet (and falling), down from an all-time high of 1,225 feet in 1983.

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