Sun, 19 Sep 2021

LOS ANGELES, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Amid megadrought, the water level of Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the two largest reservoirs in the United States, dropped to historic lows in the past two months.

According to the latest information updated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday, Lake Powell, the country's second-largest reservoir, had dropped to 3,554.36 feet (1,083.4 meters) above sea level, 145.64 feet (44.4 meters) below full pool of 3,700.00 feet (1,127.8 meters) and below the previous low of 3,555.1 feet (1083.6 meters) set in April 2005.

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 24,322,000 acre-feet (30 billion cubic meters) 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 (1,130.30 meters) at that time.

The reservoir is now at just 33 percent of its full capacity and is more than 110 feet (33.5 meters) 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 (325.4 meters). On Wednesday morning, the figure was 1,067.79 feet (324.5 meters), still 161.21 feet (49.1 meters) below the full pool of 1,229.00 feet (374.6 meters).

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 (1,075 meters) by April next year.

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