The US Bureau of Reclamation has suggested that water levels in the two biggest manmade reservoirs in the US could fall to critically low levels in the next five years, following a relatively dry summer – with prospective shortages in Lake Powell and Lake Mead now more likely than previously predicted.
Because of the below-average runoff of Colorado River water flowing from the Rockies down to Lake Powell, experts are now saying that reservoirs are 12 per cent more likely to experience critical water shortages by 2025 than was projected back in the spring, the Independent reports.
The Colorado River itself is facing increasing pressure as a result of prolonged drought and climate change, with some agricultural and urban users having to conserve water in order to protect the river over the long term… but it is still being overtapped.
And cities such as Las Vegas and Phoenix are continuing to grow, which means even more pressure is going to be put on water supplies.
This latest forecast from the Reclamation Bureau could cause potential problems between neighbouring states Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Mexico, all of which share the river to keep their cities and farms up and running.
Commissioner Brenda Burman said: “We know that warmer temperatures have contributed to the drought of the last 21 years and we know that they have exacerbated it. I think what the projections are showing us is we have greater uncertainty than we did last year.”
While this is all taking place over in the US, the issues of water stress and scarcity are global concerns and something that even we here in the UK should be very aware of, even with the amount of annual rainfall that we see around the country.
Prioritising water efficiency has all sorts of benefits for both businesses and the environment, and there’s a huge amount that you can do as an organisation to reduce your water footprint, helping the planet by driving down your reliance on mains water supplies – which will also see your water bills fall, as a result.
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