The Times podcast: Our biggest reservoir will save us! Wait, no

A sign at Lake Mead says "low water"
A sign warns visitors of the drought’s effect at Lake Mead’s Hemenway Harbor in Nevada. The reservoir is at its lowest level since its creation 85 years ago.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In Episode 4 of Drought Week, we focus on Lake Mead, created by the Hoover Dam and fed by the Colorado River. It’s the nation’s biggest reservoir, providing water to 25 million people in California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico.

Lake Mead is projected to shrink this year to levels that would trigger the first-ever official shortage declaration in the region. That means Nevada, Arizona and Mexico would have to make do with less water. If the trend continues another year, California gets partially cut off too.


L.A. Times national correspondent Jaweed Kaleem visited Lake Mead and talked to cattle ranchers, fishermen and other stakeholders. What they had to say ain’t reassuring.

After that, track and field athlete Christina Clemons talks about her road to the Olympics and what it’s like to be a Black woman representing the United States.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times national correspondent Jaweed Kaleem and track and field athlete Christina Clemons

More reading:

‘Unrecognizable.’ Lake Mead, a lifeline for water in Los Angeles and the West, tips toward crisis

Lake Mead drops to a record low amid drought


Apocalypse, cow — our growing drought and the great L.A. cattle escape

Listen to more episodes of The Times here

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producer Denise Guerra and editors Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our engineer is Mario Diaz and our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.