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Southwest braces as Lake Mead water levels drop

Southwest braces as Lake Mead water levels drop

CREATED Aug 12, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Once-teeming Lake Mead marinas are idle as a 14-year drought steadily drops water levels to historic lows.

Officials from nearby Las Vegas are pushing conservation, but are also drilling a new pipeline to keep drawing water from the lake.

Hundreds of miles away, farmers who receive water from the lake behind Hoover Dam are preparing for the worst.

The receding shoreline at one of the main reservoirs in the vast Colorado River water system is raising concerns about the future of a network serving a perennially parched region home to 40 million people and 4 million acres of farmland.

Marina operators, water managers and farmers are closely tracking the reservoir water level already at its lowest point since it was first filled in the 1930s.