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Feds see shortage in 2018 Lake Mead water to Arizona, Nevada

Lingering drought and demand from growing cities have lowered water levels on Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam. The U.S. Interior Department could declare a shortage on the Colorado River as early as 2017. (U.S. Geological Survey Photo)

Lingering drought and demand from growing cities have lowered water levels on Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam. (U.S. Geological Survey Photo)

Amid punishing drought, federal water managers are projecting ai??i?? by a very narrow marginai??i?? that Lake Mead won’t have enough water to make full deliveries to Nevada and Arizona in 2018.

A 24-month projection released Tuesday comes with the largest Colorado River reservoir 36 percent full.

But it’s still expected to clear the trigger point this year to avoid a shortage declaration in 2017.

For 2018, the federal Bureau of Reclamation projects missing the mark by under a foot.

Officials note that reservoirs in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico are at higher levels this year than in recent years.

That has them hoping to still avoid declaring a shortage that would cut Arizona’s water allocation by 11.4 percent, and Nevada’s by 4.3 percent.

Combined, that’s enough water to serve more than 600,000 homes a year.

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