"Lake Mead sank to its lowest level in nearly 75 years on Sunday, a stark reminder of how drought and growing water demands have sapped the Colorado River and its huge reservoirs.
Not since it was first filling in 1937 has Lake Mead held so little water. The reservoir's level fell to the historic low shortly before noon on Sunday, eclipsing a previous record from the drought-stricken 1950s.
The lake is now just 8 feet above the level that would trigger the first drought restrictions, which would reduce water supplies for Arizona and Nevada. That gap could close by next year - the reservoir fell 10 feet from October 2009 to 2010 - but there are measures in place that would likely delay rationing for one or two years or even longer if a wet winter increased runoff into the river."
Shaun McKinnon reports for the Arizona Republic October 20, 2010.