Skip to comments.Leaking Las Vegas: Lake Mead Plunges To Record Low Amid Drought-pocalypse
Posted on 06/10/2021 7:27:19 PM PDT by blam
Much of the Western half of the US is in a severe drought, and parts of the Southwest are “exceptionally dry,” the worst category, according to US Drought Monitor. Taking this into account, the iconic Hoover Dam has just recorded the smallest amount of water inside Lake Mead since the 1930s.
The damming of the Colorado River at the Nevada-Arizona border created Lake Mead and supplies water to 25 million people, including in the cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
We’ve explained in the past if Lake Mead drops to dangerously low levels, the entire town of Las Vegas is absolutely screwed because two pipes, known as straws, are at elevation 1,050 feet and 1,000 feet. However, a third straw was recently constructed at 860 feet just in case the water level continued to drop. For Vegas to prevent a total collapse if Lake Mead continues to drop, it will have to continue constructing straws at lower and lower depths.
Tim Barnett, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, wrote back in 2014 that Lake Mead wasn’t able to supply Vegas with water, “it’s just going to be screwed. And relatively quickly. Unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere, Las Vegas is out of business. Yet they’re still building, which is stupid.”
… and this quote was over seven years ago, and the water situation has dramatically worsened.
As of Wednesday, the lake’s water level sank to 1,071.56 feet above sea level and broke the record low in July 2016. Since the early 2000s, the water level has plunged 140 feet due to years of drought that has gripped the region.
“Some states, especially parts of California and parts of the southwest, it’s really quite extreme drought conditions,” Ben Cook, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told Reuters. Here’s a map (as of June 3) of the drought situation, which is extremely severe.
Artificial lakes, such as Lake Mead, is no match for Mother Nature, and the latest drop in water level could force state governments (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) to pass a water shortage declaration sometime this summer.
The demand for water downstream from Hoover Dam continues to increase. Farmers in the Southwest are itching for Lake Mead’s water to irrigate their crops as their land becomes fallow.
Over the past year, the lake has declined by more than 16 feet and is projected to fall nine more feet by the end of 2021. The lake’s trigger point for a “shortage,” declared by the government, is 1,075 feet, which has already been broken.
Lake Mead’s downward spiral has also reduced Hoover Dam’s hydropower output by 25%. At some point, the dam could stop producing electricity.
“Our previous number [for cutoff] was at elevation 1,050, and now we’ve lowered that number to 950,” Hoover Dam, facility manager Mark Cook told CBS News. “So, we bought ourselves 100 feet.”
For more than a half-decade (see: here & here), we have the ongoing problems of Lake Mead and how it could impact the water supply of tens of millions of people. Now that the lake is at levels not seen since it was filled in the 1930s, and below levels for an official “shortage.” This means an emergency declaration of water shortage could be seen sometime this summer.
The drought is so severe that the governor of Utah is urging people to pray for rain.
The world’s biggest bathtub ring....
That rock leaching thing is pretty surprising.
As the Democrats roll out the red carpet for millions more water consuming illegals.
The government in the 19th century told settlers “the rain will follow the plow” to get them to farm the high plains. Indians saw the tilled soil and said “wrong side up”. A few rainy years and then disaster. Later the dust bowl. The Indian or Native American, whichever they wish to be called, were correct.
Too bad they can’t have some of our rain. North Texas is freaking full up on water. Of course, by August, that won’t be the case anymore.
I have read that the period in the last 150 years or so, when the west was settled was unusually wet, and that the present draught is a more normal condition.
I was just out in Vegas. The condos in front of the casino has a large waterfall fountain going as the surrounding countryside was dry as a bone. Idiocy.
America really needs to get started with the next phase of the Central Arizona Project which is building a canal from sea water de salinination plants on California’s Pacific Coast to hook up with the CAP. The plans have been in place for 50 years
Send illegals home and rescind visas and green cards as well. That will reduce demand more than anything else we might do.
Green lawns and filled pools in and around Los Angeles, right?
So yeah, let's take in millions more illegals, refugees and homeless in California and build apartment buildings just for them.
The don't need water, right?
Do not know where the state leaders are going to get the water for the millions of people they are encouraging to move in.
*The Courts ruled that Texas cannot force Oklahoma to sell us water.
The main leaders of this problem is North Texas Council of Governments.
Time to cut Mexico off? Did they contribute anything to the building of Hoover Dam?
I don’t see the problem with that. It’s an insignificant amount of water, recycled over and over again.
Some kind of market needs to be set up. If water had to be paid for that would supply the money for other ways of getting it. Just like any other commodity. Perhaps water shares to anybody getting this water now that could later be sold or traded.
Sure, put them all on a train to Oregon.
Directly because California siphons off the water for all their illegal immigrants.
The natural state of rainfall in the desert southwest is arid to semiarid. The engineering approach to water management can only go so far. The necessary solution is somehow to limit population in arid regions— much cheaper and environmentally more friendly than trying to build out costly canals and dams and what not just to feed more peoples’ toilets and backyard swimming pools.
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