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Current Affairs

Water shortage in Colorado river basin

Date: 19 August 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Federal government of US has declared a shortage of water in Colorado River basin due to severe drought.

 

Background

Some South-west states of the country stare at water cuts from October 2021 due to shortages in storage.

 

Details

  • The Colorado River is dammed to form the Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Their levels have decreased due to reduction in inflow.

  • The water supply and management is handled by the Bureau of Reclamation. The residents of Mexico are also likely to be affected due to shortages.

  • A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) drought disaster is likely to be announced, which will allow the states to provide more assistance to farmers.

  • The affected states include Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, California, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota and Washington.

  • Governors of these states say that historic heatwave, followed by droughts have affected local industries, farmers, local economies and communities.

 

Impacted states

  • Residents of Nevada, Arizona and Mexico are likely to be highly affected. Nevada will experience a 7 percent cut, Arizona 18 percent and Mexico will have 5 percent cut.

  • The waters of the river are used for irrigation facilities, industries and hydropower apart from drinking water needs of the residents.

 

Colorado River

  • The Colorado River flows through southwestern US after emerging from the Rocky Mountains. It ultimately discharges into the Gulf of California after moving through Mexico.

  • The waters of the Colorado River are regulated through Hoover dam, Davis dam, Parker dam and imperial dam.

 

Reasons for water shortage

  • The Colorado River basin is experiencing extended periods of drought. The persistent droughts have led to shortage of water over the years.

  • The spring months this year were dry. The snowmelt could not reach the river due to dryness of soil. About 26 percent less snowmelt contributed to the river.