A persistent drought in the American Southwest forced the Anasazi to abandon their settlements a thousand years ago. Eventually the precipitation returned. Hoover Dam in Nevada was built in 1931, "during an especially wet period for the West."
But today Lake Mead, which powers Hoover Dam's generators, is at an all-time low. Vice reports on the alarming situation.
Water levels in Nevada's Lake Mead, which powers the Hoover Dam and supplies water and power to tens of millions, dropped to historic lows this morning. According to the US Bureau of Reclamation, which built and manages hundreds of dams in the West, water levels at Lake Mead dipped to 1,080.07 feet, just below last August's record of 1,080.19 feet.
Melting snowpack in the Rocky Mountains flows into the Colorado River, which in turn feeds Lake Mead. In 2013, according to Reuters, Rocky Mountain meltwater was at 47 percent of normal levels.