Drought’s cost: Less water in Lake Mead, higher rates for consumers

Prolonged drought stalks Arizona The dark side of low-water levels could mean cutbacks to Arizona, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Arizona water experts said mainly farms and rural areas, rather than cities, could be restricted.
If Lake Mead’s water level falls below 1,050 feet, Arizona would lose an additional 80,000 acre-feet of water, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.
But bigger cities are already considering policies that would reduce their water use and float their water allotments over to Pinal County.
Although California receives the largest allotment from Lake Mead, agreements forged years ago give it priority.
California, the most populous state in the country, has some disadvantages compared to Arizona when it comes to storing water, Porter said.
“So they have a need for it that is more immediate.” Arizona has not needed its entire allocation of water from Lake Mead, Porter said, so CAP and the Arizona Water Banking Authority have used the excess to recharge aquifers.
Beaches, boat ramps updated as Mead drops The recreational opportunities brought on by drought at Lake Mead National Recreation Area also come at a cost – $2 million in updates for every 10-foot drop in the water level.
“With every change, there’s a new fun thing to do here,” said Christie Vanover, public affairs officer for the recreation area.
But considering the Bureau of Reclamation’s prediction, they are likely to stay above water, at least for the next few years.

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