Lake Mead in Drought
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Lake Mead in Drought

June 11, 2004
Water is the lifeblood of the western United States. Not only does it sustain municipal drinking supplies and agriculture, it is also one of the primary sources of electricity. Dams along the Colorado and other rivers provide the steady water supply needed for large populations and agriculture as well as the electricity needed for industry. Perhaps the greatest symbol of water use in the west is the Hoover Dam and the massive reservoir it creates, Lake Mead. Shown in this Landsat composite image, Lake Mead is one of the largest reservoirs in the world and one of the most important water sources in the western United States. Over the past few years, however, rain and snow have been scarce, and water levels in the reservoir are steadily dropping. The impact of the drought is apparent in the dwindling size of Lake Mead.

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