LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Lake Mead is at a record low level. Thursday’s reading shows the level at 1,067.7 feet. The historic lows could trigger the federal government to declare a shortage.
A coalition of Democratically elected officials, businesses, agriculture interests, and conservationists from across the Colorado River Basin gathered at Hoover Dam Thursday asking federal officials and Congress to do more to protect the water source.
They are calling for a moratorium on dam and diversion projects along the Colorado River, saying they are wasteful. The call comes as states begin to receive federal money from the American Recovery Plan Act of 2021 and consider a federal infrastructure package with a lot of water provisions.
The group live streamed its demands and specifically called out the proposed Lake Powell pipeline in Utah. The pipeline would transport billions of gallons of water underground from northern Arizona to southwest Utah.
The coalition believes it would hurt Nevada and the other five western states that rely on the Colorado River for water.
The Utah River’s Council, a non-profit that promotes sustainability, says it would further deplete the river and jeopardize the water source.
“The Lake Powell pipeline would deliver water to some of America’s most wasteful water users in Washington county, Utah,” said Zach Frankel, Utah Rivers Council.
Water officials from all six states have been critical of the project, even though Utah is entitled to that water under state agreements made a century ago.
Water officials from those states, including Nevada, have said they’re open to negotiating.