Study suggests Las Vegas' water supply has 22 years - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Study suggests Las Vegas' water supply has 22 years

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Lake Mead is seen in this undated file photo. (File/FOX5) Lake Mead is seen in this undated file photo. (File/FOX5)

A new article by the Los Angeles Times cites a study that suggests Las Vegas' water source, Lake Mead, may dwindle to the point where it can no longer provide for the city by 2036.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is aware of the piece, but suggested a number of factors will affect the availability of water.

"We've taken a look at that report, and we understand what Scripps (UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography) is indicating there. I mean, the levels of Lake Mead are really going to depend on the hydrology of the Colorado River," the Southern Nevada Water Authority's Bronson Mack said.

In November of 2010, the lake hit an all-time low, with water at 1,081 feet above sea level. It's now 15 feet above that.

The Bureau of Reclamation projects that the lake will not drop below the level of its highest intake pipe in the next two years. For six years now, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has been building an intake straw below the reservoir's two existing pipes. Straw three should be finished by the fall of 2015.

"How much snowpack are we going to get over the next year, two years, five years? That's really going to depend on climate precipitation, and that's really what's going to impact the levels at Lake Mead," Mack said.

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