Scientists: Lake Mead In Danger Of Drying Up

PHOENIX (AP) — Here’s a global warming wakeup call for thirsty people in the Southwest: scientists say Lake Mead is in danger of drying up.

The dammed-up lake along the Colorado River spans the border between Nevada and Arizona and is the largest water reservoir in the West. It and Lake Powell help provide water for more than 25 million people in seven states.

Because of a combination of climate change and strong demand, it could be completely drained by the year 2021. Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego say there’s a 50-50 chance it will run dry by then. And there’s a 10 percent chance it won’t be able to provide any usable water as soon as 2014.

One marine biologist says scientists are “stunned at the magnitude of the problem” and how fast it’s coming.