LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Is our drought as bad as a hurricane? Has it left as much damage as a tornado? The Southern Nevada Water Authority thinks so and it is looking to Washington for help.
The Lake Mead reservoir east of Las Vegas is expected to shrink 25 feet over the next year to a record low. By fall 2014, the surface of Lake Mead could drop to 1,075 feet above sea level, causing the first federal shortage declaration on the Colorado River and prompting water supply cuts for Nevada and Arizona. The surface has already dropped more than 100 feet since the current drought began in 2000.
SNWA officials announced a plan today to seek federal disaster aid, along with six other states that depend on the river for water.
Lake Mead means much more than just recreation for Las Vegans. After all, 90 percent of the water we use comes from Lake Mead and those shores are shrinking.
The SNWA has watched the drought for 13 years. Seven states are struggling and repairs or upgrades that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
The problems will only get worse without help or sustained heavy snowfall on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains.