Hoover Dam's Lake Mead reaches all-time low

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Lake Mead is the massive lake that was created when the Hoover Dam was finished in 1936. This vital reservoir has now reached the lowest level it has ever been and weather forecasts show that it will probably drop a lot lower. If this happens, all electricity generation inside the Hoover Dam's wall will shut down, and thousands of farms will turn back to the dust they were before the dam was built.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. View over dam wall, compare lake when it was full in 1983 to how it looks now at 36%
2. View of wall and high-water mark from lake's new level, stick out very high above water
3. Boat in lake dwarfed by high-water mark, change to part of lake - view from above showing high water vs current level
4. Animation of dam's hydro power system, showing loss of output as water level drops
5. Continue from cut 4, change to pavement scene as green grass turns to dead grass
6. View from space, scroll between lake full and lake now, then repeat twice

VOICEOVER (in English):
NBC News reports that water levels in Lake Mead — the largest U.S. reservoir by volume — fell to 36 percent, its lowest level ever, on Thursday 11 June, as the region continues to face the effects of a devastating prolonged drought.

Lake Mead was formed when the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s. It provides water for urban, rural and tribal lands across the south-west.

Officials expect levels to get worse through another dry, hot summer. In normal years, the dam produces enough electricity for 8 million people, but the water shortage will slow energy output.

Every foot of lake-level decline means about six megawatts of lost capacity. The Hoover Dam's energy capacity has already dropped by 25% and levels will continue to decline through this autumn.

Las Vegas recently became the first city in the U.S. to ban "useless grass" around streets, offices and housing developments, in an effort to conserve water.

The devastating drought has caused the Colorado River system to decline to half its capacity, and the basin has seen historically low inflows over the last 16 years.


SOURCES: NBC News, The Guardian, USA Today, AZ Central
https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/lake-meads-water-level-drops-lowest-point-history-rcna1164
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/10/lake-mead-reservoir-drought-low
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/06/10/lake-mead-water-lowest-hoover-dam-built-colorado-river-shortage/7640437002/
https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-environment/2021/06/10/lake-mead-declines-new-low-colorado-river-crisis-deepens-arizona-drought/7621138002/