DENVER, United States, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Due to megadrought gripping the western United States, the water levels of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir serving 40 million Americans, have dropped to a historic low.
An original intake valve of the reservoir that began supplying Nevada customers in 1971 was exposed for the first time.
"It's official -- the top of Intake No. 1 is now visible and the low lake level pumping station is now operational," Southern Nevada Water Authority tweeted early this week.
The low lake level pumping station is a back-up system completed by the water authority in 2020 that draws water from deep lake areas to feed thirsty customers downstream.
As of Friday, the water level of Lake Mead is 1,055.19 feet (321.62 meters) above sea level, which is 173.81 feet (52.98 meters) below full pool of 1,229 feet (374.60 meters) above sea level.
"When the lake hit 1060 (feet above sea level), that's when you could start to see the top of the intake number one," Bronson Mack from the Southern Nevada Water Authority told CNN.
Hoover Dam, finished in 1936 during the American Great Depression, created Lake Mead by damming the Colorado River. The lake is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, on the Arizona-Nevada border, 25 miles east of Las Vegas, according to Atlas.com.
The dam generates electricity for parts of Arizona, California and Nevada, producing on average about 2,074 megawatts, which is enough electricity for about 8 million people, according to the Western Area Power Administration. ■