The reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam has reached a record low level, a sign of the negative impact extreme droughts are having on the region.
The falling levels are a huge worry for farmers and people living in Western states who depend on Lake Mead as part of their water supply.
Reuters reported that the surface of Lake Mead, the reservoir shaped by the Hoover Dam, had dropped to 1,071.56 feet above sea level as of 11 p.m. local time on Wednesday, falling below the lowest level that had been previously set on July 1, 2016.
The reservoir’s water level has dropped 140 feet since 2000, according to Reuters.
Lake Mead, formed in the 1930s, plays an essential role in supplying water to 25 million people in the country, including those in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas.
The reservoir’s record low level come as much of the Western U.S. is facing an extreme drought that has crippled crops and sparked wildfires, including in California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, Reuters reported.
Nevada is prohibiting the watering of around a third of lawn in the Las Vegas area and Utah’s governor is asking his residents to pray for rain, the AP reported. Farmers are also having to abandon crops.
The region is also seeing a large number of wildfires. Two wildfires in Arizona have already burned through more than 100,000 acres in the state.
The Bureau of Reclamation is reportedly mulling declaring Lake Mead’s most extreme shortage condition for the first time in history, according to Reuters, citing a spokesperson from the agency, which would halt water supplies to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.