America’s two largest reservoirs are in trouble. The Colorado River feeds Lake Powell and Lake Mead, and both are at near-record lows, threatening water and power supplies for tens of millions of Americans.

“An additional 2 to 4 million acre-feet of conservation is required just to protect critical levels in 2023,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Tuton.

A two-decade megadrought is drying up the west.

“Less of the rainfall that feeds the river is going into the river,” said water policy researcher Jeff Lucas.

You don’t have to tell Robert Grippentag. His family has owned the Las Vegas Marina since the 1950s.

“It costs us a lot of money because we have to chase water,” he said. “We have to move the pier.”

It has remained open as the water level has dropped more than 40 feet in the past two years alone, and it has lost about 40% of its business.

SEE MORE: Officials are asking Californians to limit water use amid a historic drought

“We need to go up a lot from where we are now,” Gripentog continued.

In July, Lake Mead reached its lowest level since its creation at just 1,040 feet.

However, there was some short-term good news this summer. A strong monsoon season in the southwest pushed the depth to four feet. However, this does not come close to solving the problem.

As the amount of water decreases every year, there is less drinking and drinking water for 40 million people across the region. And there is concern about the hydroelectricity production of the two dams.

When the water drops below 950 feet, the huge Hoover Dam can’t produce more power. But it should not be so low as to cause problems. Its capacity has already dropped by 36% due to current water levels, and there is a chance that it could drop too low to generate electricity in the next three years.

Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell faces the same problem. The Bureau of Reclamation expects it to be just 32 feet above the basin’s minimum capacity by Jan. 1. It has a 10% chance of falling below the threshold by next year, and a 30% chance by 2024.

The Hoover Dam supports more than 1.3 million people, and more than half of its energy comes from Southern California.

SEE MORE: Why is the US West experiencing a megadrought?

Jim McCarthy is president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California.

“We have to understand that we will have less hydropower, at least in the near term,” he said.

The state is home to nearly half of the country’s all-electric vehicles.

A heatwave earlier this month threatened the state’s power grid. Officials asked electric vehicle owners not to charge their electric vehicles.

If the state loses Hoover Dam’s hydropower, the quest for stable, clean energy to support clean energy vehicles will become less obvious.

“If we lose a lot of hydro, that’s going to be a problem,” McCarthy continued. “We need to upgrade now. But if you drive an electric car, you can at least feed yourself.”

The group responsible for the integrity of the electricity grid says the western grid is at risk of an energy emergency due to falling hydropower levels.

Last fall, a drought dried up Lake Orville in Northern California, forcing the hydroelectric plant to shut down for the first time since the 1960s.

Hydropower is “black-start” electricity used to quickly restart a country’s power grid after a blackout.

The Department of Energy says hydro is critical to grid reliability because it’s always flowing, except when it’s not.

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