Why is almost no one planning for a future without Lake Mead?

You’d think that, given how dangerously low Lake Mead is getting, we’d have a good idea of ​​what life might look like without that water.

Yet few major players are modeling for a future without Colorado River water – or even a future in which we are asked to live on markedly less of it.

Ironically, the deeper the lake plunges, the more reluctant water managers seem to be about fleshing out the worst-case scenario.

That’s a mistake.

Reclamation is focused on the near term

There is virtually no chance that Lake Mead or the upstream Lake Powell that feeds it could hit “dead pool” – the point where water levels are so low that none flows downstream – in the federal Bureau of Reclamation’s most recent five-year forecast.

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