Nevada to be allocated more water as past wet winter helps improve water shortage

According to a new water projection report, the Bureau of Reclamation is improving to a tier 1 water shortage, a slight improvement thanks to a wet winter helping Lake Mead. Joe Moeller reports.

Lake Mead

BOULDER CITY, Nev. (KTNV) — The wet winter the valley experienced the past year is proving to be a big help to our water supply. Because of the amount of rain and snow in the west, the Bureau of Reclamation is now rolling back some of the water cuts put into place during the drought.

“It is the only reason I am here,” said Ross Angel, Boulder City resident. “We are looking at Lake Mead, what is left of it.”

Angel wakes up to a view of Lake Mead from his Boulder City home.

“[The water level] has been going down, down and down,” he said.

After a moisture-packed winter, he’s witnessed the changes firsthand.

“They keep telling me it hasn’t,” Angel said. “But I understand they pulled the marina back in a bit.”

Lake Mead is up nearly 20 ft. since January, at 1,063 ft. It is expected to increase another four ft. by next January thanks to snow in the Rockies.

“The August 24-month study is of particular interest,” said Bronson Mack, a public information officer with the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Following a new water projection report Tuesday, the Bureau of Reclamation is now adjusting to a tier 1 shortage that will be in place for next year.

“Right now, we are in a tier 2 reduction of 25,000-acre ft.,” Mack said. “Next year, we will be in a tier 1 reduction of 21,000 ft., which is a slight improvement.”

MORE: Federal officials announce 2024 plans for Lake Mead, Lake Powell water use

He says this means Nevada will be allocated more water from the Colorado River. Still, Nevada won’t see much change as the state already uses less water than is allocated due to water conservation efforts.

“Over the last two decades, we have seen our community grow,” Mack said. “Yet we have seen our water demands reduced. We supply less water to people today than two decades ago.”

However, this does not mean water-saving efforts can stop, as more dry winters could happen.

This good news comes as states using the river water and the federal government begin talks about the future guidelines for water use set to go into place after 2026.

RELATED: Nevada senator announces $32 million federal funding for stabilizing water levels at Lake Mead

“It was a good winter,” Angel said. “A lot of rain. Hopefully, it will all come back.”

Angel hopes more good winters will come to help not only his view but everyone who uses the river and lake.

The water cut changes apply to Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico.

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