Lake Mead reaches milestone low levels of water

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Lake Mead Reaches Milestone Low Levels Of Water

Lake Mead, which is located east of Las Vegas, has reached milestone low levels of water to due drought conditions in the western U.S.

In the 78 years since the dam was filled in May 1937, the water line has not dipped below 1,080.18 feet above sea level until recently.

On Tuesday, it reached 1,079.76 feet which means the lake is at just 38 percent of its holding capacity.

These falling levels could affect the millions of Americans for whom Lake Mead is a major water source which includes most of the growing Las Vegas Valley.

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Lake Mead reaches milestone low levels of water
PAGE, AZ - MARCH 30: Lake Powell is shown from an airplane window on March 30, 2015 in Page, Arizona. As severe drought grips parts of the Western United States, a below average amount of water is expected to flow through the Colorado River Basin into two of its biggest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Lake Powell is currently at 45 percent of capacity and is at risk of seeing its surface elevation fall below 1,075 feet above sea level by September, which would be the lowest level on record. The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PAGE, AZ - MARCH 30: Lake Powell is shown from an airplane window on March 30, 2015 in Page, Arizona. As severe drought grips parts of the Western United States, a below average amount of water is expected to flow through the Colorado River Basin into two of its biggest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Lake Powell is currently at 45 percent of capacity and is at risk of seeing its surface elevation fall below 1,075 feet above sea level by September, which would be the lowest level on record. The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PAGE, AZ - MARCH 30: The Antelope Point Marina at Lake Powell is shown through an airplane window on March 30, 2015 in Page, Arizona. As severe drought grips parts of the Western United States, a below average amount of water is expected to flow through the Colorado River Basin into two of its biggest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Lake Powell is currently at 45 percent of capacity and is at risk of seeing its surface elevation fall below 1,075 feet above sea level by September, which would be the lowest level on record. The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BIG WATER, UT - MARCH 30: Water lines are visible on a section of Lake Powell that used to be under water on March 30, 2015 near Big Water, Utah. As severe drought grips parts of the Western United States, a below average flow of water is expected to flow through the Colorado River Basin into two of its biggest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead. Lake Powell is currently at 45 percent of capacity and is at risk of seeing its surface elevation fall below 1,075 feet above sea level by September, which would be the lowest level on record. The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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It also threatens electricity production, as turbines at Hoover Dam churn the water to generate power.

With the hot summer months approaching, experts acknowledge the possibility that levels could sink to as low as 1,073 feet this year.

Once the lake reaches 1,075 feet or below, a water shortage declaration goes into effect, triggering restricted allotments to Nevada and Arizona.

Environmentalists are advocating major reductions in water use, as the downward trend is projected to continue.
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