Megadrought Emergency Declared in Grand Canyon

Lower water levels in the Colorado River sparked a megadrought emergency in the Grand Canyon, warning of water cuts for next year.

Brad Udall, Senior Water and Climate Research Scientist at Colorado Water Institute, said that the water levels in the Colorado River dropped by 50 feet this year. He said Lake Mead and Lake Powell’s capacity is now 27 percent.

The Colorado River carves the Grand Canyon, supplying water to Lake Mead and Lake Powell, the largest reservoirs in the United States of America.

Udall said the megadrought affecting the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River poses a long-term problem that had already started in 2000.

Udall said the lower water levels affect the agriculture and energy sectors. He said dropping water levels could not generate hydroelectric power.

On August 5, the National Park Service implemented a mandatory conservation measure because of “diminished water resources and storage on the South Rim.” 

The National Park Service said Tuesday the measure is still in effect because of a pipeline break amid the drought.

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