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Despite Dwindling Levels, Lake Mead Water Restrictions Avoided for 2017


Arizona will not have to limit the amount of water it draws from Lake Mead in 2017. A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation forecasts the lake’s level will stay just above the point at which restrictions go into effect. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

The agency’s August report predicts the lake level will be about four feet above the trigger point by the end of the year. Water users in the U.S. and Mexico will be unaffected in 2017, but could face restrictions in the future.

However, the agency’s projects for 2018 say the lake could dip below that trigger point forcing a nearly 11-and-a-half percent water shortage in Arizona.

Officials with the Bureau of Reclamation say it’s not unusual for lake levels fluctuate considerably throughout the year and projections could change.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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