We're Inching Towards Actual Violence Over Access to WaterFor more than eight decades, the iconic Hoover Dam has relied on water from Nevada's L...

We're Inching Towards Actual Violence Over Access to WaterFor more than eight decades, the iconic Hoover Dam has relied on water from Nevada's L...We're Inching Towards Actual Violence Over Access to Water

For more than eight decades, the iconic Hoover Dam has relied on water from Nevada's Lake Mead to cover up its backside. But now, at age 85, it finds itself uncomfortably exposed. Much of the water the dam is supposed to be holding back is gone. "This is like a different world," said Pat Mulroy, the former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. She told CBS News senior national and environmental correspondent Ben Tracy that Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir, is on track to soon hit its lowest level ever recorded.
The dam is estimated to have lost a quarter of its customary hydroelectric power. Worse, the lower Colorado River, without which the country would have a lot of new deserts, is at a crisis stage, and the federal government may have to take serious action that will affect the region’s farmers—and that I guarantee you will set off the Bundy-ite fringe.

For the first time ever, the federal government is expected to declare a water shortage on the lower Colorado River later this summer. That will force automatic cuts to the water supply for Nevada and Arizona starting in 2022. Homeowners have higher priority and, at first, won't feel the pain as badly as farmers. Dan Thelander is a second-generation family farmer in Arizona's Pinal County. The water to grow his corn and alfalfa fields comes from Lake Mead. "If we don't have irrigation water, we can't farm," he said. "So, next year we are going to get about 25% less water, means we're going to have to fallow or not plant 25% of our land.” In 2023 Thelander and other farmers in this part of Arizona are expected to lose nearly all of their water from Lake Mead, so they are rushing to dig wells to pump groundwater to try to save their farms.