To help the drought-stricken Colorado River basin, federal authorities plan to reduce water flow into Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, from Lake Powell 180 miles upstream. That means some tough decisions will be made concerning the millions who rely on Mead for municipal water supplies, farm irrigation, and growth in demand. Decades-old rules govern water use between seven upper and lower basin states. Those rules don’t factor in the current drought, even though water conservation efforts have helped save millions of gallons and kept the supply flowing. But the federal Bureau of Reclamation says there is a 50-50 chance that by 2015, Lake Mead’s water will be rationed to states downstream for the first time.
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Photo Credit: Jim Wilson, The New York Times