Vital Colorado River reservoir OK for now, but shortages are on horizon

Author: Associated Press - August 15, 2018 - Updated: August 15, 2018

shortageLightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona in this 2014 file photo. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

U.S. government water managers say a vital reservoir on the Colorado River will be able to meet the demands of Mexico and Southwestern U.S. states for the next 13 months, but a looming shortage could trigger cutbacks in late 2019.

The Bureau of Reclamation released a report Wednesday on the health of the river and its biggest reservoir, Lake Mead, behind Hoover Dam.

The report echoes previous warnings that a long trend toward a drier regional climate coupled with rising demand could drain so much water from Lake Mead that cutbacks would be mandatory.

Mexico, Arizona and Nevada would be hit first.

The river serves 40 million people and 6,300 square miles of farmland.

California, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah also rely on the river.

Associated Press

Associated Press