US Vice President Kamala Harris will travel Monday to Lake Mead to promote the government’s strategy to tackle the climate crisis and press for approval of an infrastructure plan.
The artificial reservoir near the tourist and gambling destination of Las Vegas, Nevada, is the main source of water for seven states in the western United States and northern Mexico. Harris will hear from local, state and federal officials about the drop in water levels at Lake Mead, the largest in America by volume, which provides drinking water and electricity to more than 40 million people across the region.
The US government announced in August that Lake Mead was short of water for the first time, dropping to a record low amid a decades-long drought in the western United States. The shortage forced officials to enforce water rationing next year for Nevada.
With a trip to Lake Mead, Harris plans to promote the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which demands a $550 billion budget, an agreement reached earlier this year between President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators. The investments include tens of billions of dollars to shore up the country’s water infrastructure and protect communities from the effects of climate change, including heat waves and prolonged droughts.
The infrastructure plan has been approved by the Senate, but has stalled in the House due to intense and increasingly bitter negotiations over funding for the president’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan, which would provide a significant boost to the country’s social safety net. [ka/ab]