The US West has water issues. That’s not new, but it has been so common that facts like the Colorado River no longer reaching the sea are accepted as normal, not a sign for immediate action. The West’s mega-drought has finally reached a level where the users of the water may begin to witness the impact of the source of the water. Lake Mead, the reservoir behind Hoover Dam is only about 1/3 full. That impacts irrigation, power generation, and consumer consumption in places downstream, including the dense population centers of much of the American Southwest.
“The Tier 1 shortage was triggered because the water level in Mead is projected to be 1,065 feet above sea level at the end of 2021 — 10 feet lower than the shortage threshold.” – Circle of Water
It is interesting that there’s sufficient reluctance to declare the water restrictions after, not at or before, reaching the shortage threshold.
Accommodations are being made, but projections suggest the water supply will decline with no near-term expectation of replenishment. One power consequence: switching to solar may at least alleviate the reduction in hydro-electric production.