Lake Mead Water Level Reaches All-Time Low

This 2008 photo of Lake Mead clearly shows the white "bathtub ring" around the lake. Water levels have dropped even further since then. | Courtesy of Lake Mead National Recreation Area

This 2008 photo of Lake Mead clearly shows the white “bathtub ring” around the lake. Water levels have dropped even further since then. | Courtesy of Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead’s water level has dropped to an all-time low, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced last week, citing ongoing drought in the Southwest as the cause of the decline.

The lake, formed by Hoover Dam on the Arizona-Nevada border, is currently more than 200 feet below its “full” level of 1,296 feet above sea level. Lake Mead last reached that level in 1998, and the subsequent drought has left a large white “bathtub ring” around the water line.

If the water level drops much further, it could trigger a shortage declaration, which would mean less water would be delivered to the areas the lake serves, including Phoenix and Las Vegas. That isn’t expected to happen this year or in 2015, but the bureau said there’s a 50-50 chance of it happening in 2016.

Lake Mead is currently at 39 percent of its water capacity. Lake Powell, on the Arizona-Utah border, is at 52 percent capacity.

Despite the drought, we hope you’ll continue to enjoy Lake Mead National Recreation Area‘s boating, fishing and hiking opportunities. As we reported earlier this month, a portion of the Colorado River there recently became the first National Water Trail in the Southwest.

12 Comments

Filed under Eco Issues, Et Cetera, News

12 responses to “Lake Mead Water Level Reaches All-Time Low

  1. Wow, did not know this. We’ve had too much rain here in Minnesota. So much, our baseball field was under 8 feet of water….see my post, if you’re interested in the pics🙋. Never been to Lake Mead but love the Sedona area and Phoenix as well as The Grand Canyon

  2. tom

    I read on the c.a.p. website where management was gonna reduce some of the water needs of agriculturists. how about eliminating water to golf courses. an arid desert does not need grassy lifestyles.

    • Scott

      I think Tom, that you will find that golf courses in the arid southwest, irrigate with reclaimed water, and would have nothing to do with depleting potable water resources.

  3. Pingback: Lake Mead Water Level Reaches All-Time Low | PITTSBURGHPRESS

  4. Nothing is mentioned about allowing the. Colorado River to connect to the sea. Are they releasing more water from the dam to accomplish this?

  5. Pingback: Lake Mead Water Level Reaches All-Time Low | amybroich

  6. Helena from Switzerland

    As a Tourist it was both, funny and disturbing, to read in a Las Vegas-Hotel “please safe the water” in the bathroom while outside water is used for Swimming Pools, Golf Courses and the famous Bellagio fountains.

  7. Jeanne Davis

    We should all be conscious of our water use. Just common sense to help with conservation. I will never understand why we don’t use the earth’s gigantic water supply. There should be no country without proper water supplies. We are a super power, why not knowledge to do this…Get on it….

  8. If we’re gojng to deal with this realistically and long term we need to start at the root of the problem which is the need for the water caused not just by careless usage and waste, but by over population because by the next drought we’ll be far worse off, and there will be a next one, guaranteed.

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