Harris to discuss drought, climate change at Lake Mead

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Vice President Kamala Harris will highlight the problems caused by the western drought on Monday as she visits Lake Mead in Nevada and makes the case for the Biden administration’s infrastructure and climate change proposals that have been stalled in Congress.

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White House officials said Sunday that Harris would be briefed by Bureau of Reclamation officials about elevation levels in a man-made reservoir that supplies drinking water to 25 million people in the American West and Mexico.

Following the visit, the Vice President will make remarks and meet with officials from the Interior Department and other federal and state agencies, including the Southern Nevada Water Authority. He will be joined by US Reps Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford of Nevada.

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The water level in Lake Mead – created by the Colorado River dam in the 1930s – has dropped to record levels. In August, federal officials announced the first ever water shortage in the Colorado River. As a result, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will receive less water than normal next year, which is reeling under drought in the West.

In September, Reclamation released projections showing an even worse outlook for the river.

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Against this backdrop, the vice president is expected to promote the administration’s “Build Back Better” agenda – originally a $3.5 trillion bill – for which Democrats are struggling to garner the support of moderates.

That agenda includes climate provisions that the Biden administration has said will make the US more resilient against the effects of climate change. Key elements include imposing new emissions restrictions through a federal clean energy requirement and providing tax breaks for the electric vehicle industry.

White House officials said Harris would also emphasize that climate change is poised to make extreme weather events such as droughts and heatwaves more frequent, costly and damaging.

Officials said Harris will separately discuss the $1 trillion public works infrastructure deal that passed in the Senate months ago and is awaiting House approval. That package includes about $8 billion for western water projects.

Some of the ways it plans to combat the effects of drought include investing in desalination technology that makes sea water usable, strengthening rural water infrastructure and recycling more wastewater to help augment existing supplies. manufactures technology.

The western states experienced a dangerously hot summer, resulting in hundreds of deaths in the Pacific Northwest and a drought intensified by record-breaking wildfires.

Officials said Harris will also discuss how water scarcity affects farmers, the country’s food supply and economy.

The Biden administration has said its infrastructure spending plan will create millions of jobs in repairing water infrastructure, restoring watersheds and wetlands, and increasing water efficiency.

Amid a lack of support from some Democrats, President Joe Biden said on Friday he would prefer to cut the duration of some programs in comprehensive social services and climate change packages, not strike entire sections.

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The Associated Press receives support from the Walton Family Foundation for its coverage of water and environmental policy. AP is solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s environmental coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/environment. go to

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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