Photo Credit: Caitlin Ochs
Lake Mead, the country’s largest reservoir, is nearly empty, to the point where it can be considered a “deadpool,” a level at which the turbines of the area’s hydroelectric facilities would not work precisely. It would be the first time in 86 years.
The likelihood is quite possible, given the evident changes that Lake Mead is undergoing. For example, Arthur Murzeau, a local visitor who came to Las Vegas to witness the acclaimed lake, stated that the water level is far lower than what they see in images.
“I think we need [politicians] to take action. We need people to react and to be really aware of what’s going on,” Murzeau expressed.
This is the concern: are people conscious of the issue?
The drought is at its worst in 1,200 years, and authorities have regularly issued warnings, foreshadowing the coming disaster the country may face if the situation persists. Despite this, people’s everyday lives and activities in Colorado have remained mostly unchanged. According to statistics, the river serves almost 40 million people.
The increased calls have informed various concerned departments, and mitigating steps have been undertaken. However, analysts believe that the attempts may not be sufficient because areas forecast a supply shortage in the near future.
The area called ‘Mas Vegas’
Homes continue to rise up in locations south of Highway 39 and Hoover Dam, where water resources are scarce. The ‘Mas Vegas’ neighborhood is continually being built with households and is frequented by RVs.
The same is true at Rio Verde, in Phoenix’s northern outskirts. Karen Nabity, a realtor, voiced concern that many individuals can still buy properties in the region and build homes there, even though water resources are limited.
“They don’t have a disclosure to the owner of that property to say, ‘you’re building this house, but do you know on January first we don’t have a water source for you,” stated Nabity.
In January 2023, around 500 families in the Rio Verde Foothills neighborhood will be in danger of losing their water supply. This is because there isn’t enough water to go around since Scottsdale’s neighborhoods consume all of the water supplied by the Colorado River.
“The Colorado River won’t be flowing, water won’t be flowing down the [Central Arizona Project] canals, that should be an ‘oh shit’ to this entire state. I’m an Arizona native, and for God’s sakes, wake up, Arizona, we need to do something, and we need to do it now,” Nabity added.
What the government should do
Nabity stated that the water constraint was not a surprise to them because they were notified in 2016. Nabity began to assemble her neighbors and recommended to the government the construction of a water district, acquiring property and water rights to locate another source for their water reservoir. The suggestion is standard procedure in the nation. However, Maricopa County rejected their proposal.
“What is our state doing? People are still planting grass; people are still watering yards. We need to have our state step up more and start doing bigger cutbacks now,” she said.
Tucson’s city councilman expressed the same worry as many residents and suggested that alternative actions be taken.
“Three years from now, five years from now, whenever it is, we can all be standing along the banks of Colorado looking at a dry riverbed, saying all I did was take what I was entitled to, and we sucked it dry.”
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.