Lake Mead's water level has dropped
more than 120 feet since 2000.
The Colorado River system is facing the worst drought on record. The water level of Lake Mead, which serves as a reservoir, has dropped more than 120 feet since January 2000.
As Lake Mead water levels decline, there is a possible reduction of available Colorado River water for the community’s use. In addition, declining water levels create operating challenges for the water intake facilities, which is why the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is constructing a third water intake deeper in Lake Mead.
Southern Nevada's annual water consumption decreased by more than 32 billion gallons between 2002 and 2013, despite a population increase of nearly 500,000 during that span.
The SNWA Board of Directors established a conservation goal of 199 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) by 2035. Since 2002 when the drought response plan was first developed, Southern Nevada has reduced its GPCD demand from 314 GPCD to 212 GPCD in 2013. While recent economic conditions may be a factor in the GPCD reduction, much of this reduction in water use can be attributed to community conservation efforts.
The Water Authority continually monitors conditions along the Colorado River, the source of the majority of our drinking water. SNWA is working with the other basin states that share the Colorado River to evaluate alternatives and find effective methods to manage the water supply. See the Water Resources Plan for more information.
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