The water levels of the largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead, have fallen to a record low. The reservoir is responsible for supplying water to California, Arizona, and Nevada. At 63% empty, Lake Mead’s drastically decreasing water supply creates a potentially devastating situation for the nearly 20 million people it serves. 
In an interview with the Associated Press, Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the reclamation bureau, stated, “we expect the lake to continue to drop to levels near 1,070 feet by the end of June.”  This is the lowest the reservoir has been since it was created 80 years ago. The 16-year drought in the western part of the country has spurred this historic decline. As the drought continues, Lake Mead’s water levels are projected to continue to drop.
If the reservoir reaches below 1025 ft, the Department of the Interior (DOI) will take control and make this a crisis situation. Michael Levitin of News Deeply writes, “The Bureau of Reclamation reports a 64 percent chance that Lake Mead…will fall below the 1,025 ft threshold by 2019, requiring an emergency federal response.” In the event the levels drop below 900 ft, the reservoir will not be high enough to flow through the turbines, and Lake Mead would no longer be a viable water source.  A project is currently underway to relocate the pump stations to a lower elevation to allow for water withdrawals at lower lake levels. 
Environmentalists, researchers, and government officials are working toward a solution to this 16-year problem. However, as drought persists, the record-low water levels will continue to decrease – straining an already water-stressed region of the United States.
 Pandey, Avaneesh. Lake Mead Water Level Drops To Record Low As Drought Dries Up Colorado River Basin. International Business Times, May 21, 2016. Web. http://www.ibtimes.com/lake-mead-water-level-drops-record-low-drought-dries-colorado-river-basin-2372146  WBQR. Water Level At Lake Mead, The Country’s Largest Reservoir, Is At Historic Low. WBQR, May 31, 2016. Web. http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/05/31/lake-mead-reservoir-low  Ritter, Ken. Lake Mead shrinks to record low amid ongoing Western drought. Associated Press, May 19, 2016. Web. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/073b32d79eca47e58613ce801b428e4c/lake-mead-shrinks-record-low-amid-ongoing-western-drought  Levitin, Michael. What Lake Mead’s Record Low Means for California. News Deeply, June 20, 2016. Web. https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2016/06/20/what-lake-meads-record-low-means-for-california  Brean, Henry. Work on $650 million Lake Mead pump station starts. Las Vegas Review-Journal, March 30, 2015. Web. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada/work-650-million-lake-mead-pump-station-starts