LAS VEGAS -- The Department of Agriculture declared Clark County a natural disaster area because of the drought. Southern Nevada has been in a drought for 12 years.

Sixty-one percent of the U.S. is under severe drought conditions, according to the department.

And although Lake Mead, where most of the Las Vegas valley's drinking water comes from, rose 30 feet last year, it is expected to drop again this year.

"This year though we think the Colorado River is going to wrap up it's year with just 46 percent of its average flow," said Doug Bennett of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Experts have said that the area needs at least seven years of normal snowfall on the west side of the Rocky Mountains to bring southern Nevada out of the drought.


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