USA - April 3rd, 2012
Two large reservoirs can be observed in this image of western USA: Lake Mead, by the left edge, and Lake Powell, created by the Glen Canyon Dam, by the right edge. Both are important sources of water in this arid region. Lake Mead straddles the Arizona-Nevada border, and Lake Powell is on the Arizona-Utah border. Aqueducts carry water from the system to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other communities in the Southwest.
There is, however, a 50 percent chance that Lake Mead, which was created by the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River, will go dry by 2021 because of escalating human demand and climate change, according to a study by Tim Barnett and David Pierce of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California at San Diego.
By 2017, there is a 50 percent chance that the reservoir could drop so low that Hoover Dam could no longer produce hydroelectric power. Water conservation and mitigation technologies and policies thus need to be implemented now, the study stated.
The disappearance of the manmade lake would create a tidal wave of ill effects for the southwestern U.S. The lake provides water for large cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as for several agricultural interests. The power also keeps on the lights in that region of the country.