(SOURCE) Lake Mead’s water level reached a record low this week and is expected to drop further moving into 2016, as the drought stricken region shows no immediate signs of recovery.
The elevation for the man-made reservoir was measured at 1,074 feet on Wednesday, according to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region. Multiple reports have confirmed that the lake is at its lowest level since the completion of the Hoover Dam amid the Great Depression in 1936.
Lake Mead provides water for approximately 20 million residents in Arizona, California and Nevada, and is expected to drop by an additional 5 feet by the end of June, ABC News reports.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has stated its plans to have water pumped into the lake before the end of the year in order to reach a critical water-level mark. This would aid in avoiding cuts in water deliveries made to those in its service area.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that state officials in Arizona, California and Nevada are currently ironing out an agreement that would institute long-term cuts in water deliveries to the states. For example, if a formal shortage is declared, the state of Arizona would lose 320,000 acre feet in the first year that the lake’s levels fall below 1,075. That translates to roughly 104 billion gallons.