In this video I interview Doug Hendrixs, who is the Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the Lower Colorado Basin Region. Power production at the dam is down to 60% due to the drought. If the drought gets worse, they may have to go to further emergency procedures, including stopping production at the plant if water levels get too low. The Department of Energy controls power distribution from the switch yard to the southwest region.
Lake Mead and others are at historically low levels. That along with forest fires, restrictions on water use, and now a potentially record heat wave the US West is suffering the effects of chronic drought. Summer conditions are approaching and there seems to be no relief in sight. Some argue this is by climate change while other argue natural earth cycles contributing to the drought. Others blame poor resource management as the culprit.
Eighty-eight percent of the West was in a state of drought this week, including the entire states of California, Oregon, Utah and Nevada, according to official data.
In a particularly stark symptom of this trend, which is affecting more than 143 million Americans, Lake Mead — the country’s largest reservoir, lying at the border of Nevada and Arizona — now stands at its lowest level since its creation in the 1930s.
Thanks to the Bureau of Reclamation for the drone footage of the dam.