From: , The Alternative Consumer , More from this Affiliate
Published March 31, 2008 09:33 AM

Is Lake Mead Disappearing

The water supply crisis is not just a third world issue. Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest man-made lake and reservoir in the U.S., could go dry by 2021, according to a pair of scientists at the Scripp’s Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. If human-induced climate change and water usage continues at the present rate, or even slower, there is a 50% chance the lake will go dry in coming years — and sooner, rather than later. The Colorado River’s water is being consumed far beyond a sustainable level.

Regional climate models show California and areas of the Southwest could soon face a devastating water crisis. Reduced winter run-off — due to global warming, changing weather patterns and over-consumption — are draining the area of vital water. If the region enters a serious drought, matters will worsen quickly.

The loss of a resource like Lake Mead would have a tremendous negative impact on the agriculture industry, electrical power production, and local and regional water supplies. With 1.3 million people depending on electricity from the Lake and 8 million people drinking its water, serious conservation programs and restrictions must be put in place.

Agriculture consumes 60% to 80% of water in the area and any restrictions on agricultural water use would have a serious economic downside. Coastal California desalination plants and other measures will have to be explored and the neighboring, Lake Powell, may eventually have to be drained into Lake Mead.

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Read more about the crisis here. For tips on saving water, visit American Water & Energy Savers @ americanwater.com

To calculate an estimate of your water footprint, (based on U.S. averages) visit H20conserve.org

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