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Lake Mead nears dead pool status as water levels hit another historic low

Lake Mead's water levels this week dropped to historic lows, bringing the nation's largest reservoir less than 150 feet away from "dead pool" — when the reservoir is so low that water cannot flow downstream from the dam.

Lake Mead's water level on Wednesday was measured at 1,044.03 feet, its lowest elevation since the lake was filled in the 1930s. If the reservoir dips below 895 feet — a possibility still years away — Lake Mead would reach dead pool, carrying enormous consequences for millions of people across Arizona, California, Nevada and parts of Mexico.

"This is deadly serious stuff," said Robert Glennon, an emeritus professor at the University of Arizona who specializes in water law and policy.

Persistent drought conditions over the past two decades, exacerbated by climate change and increased water demands across the southwestern United States, have contributed to Lake Mead's depletion. Though the reservoir is at risk of becoming a dead pool, it would most likely take several more years to reach that level, Glennon said.

In the meantime, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and water managers across the southwestern United States are making efforts to manage the flow of water into the Colorado River and regulate water use among states in the region. These measures are designed to help replenish Lake Mead, which was created on the Colorado River on the Arizona-Nevada border when the Hoover Dam was built in the early 1930s, and another severely depleted reservoir, Lake Powell, which was created along the border of Utah and Arizona.

Dead pool would not mean that there was no water left in the reservoir, but even before Lake Mead were to hit that point, there are concerns that water levels could fall so low that the production of hydroelectric power would be hindered.

"Electricity generation in our western reservoirs becomes a problem as the water level in the reservoirs goes down," Glennon said.

As a reservoir is depleted, there is less water flowing through turbines and less liquid pressure to make them spin, which means the turbines produce less electricity, he added.

Glennon said water levels at Lake Mead have seen unexpectedly significant declines in recent years. At roughly this same time last year, Lake Mead's elevation was measured at around 1,069 feet, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. In 2020, water levels at the end of June were around 1,087 feet.

In late April, Lake Mead's declining water level exposed an intake valve that first began supplying Nevada customers in 1971. The following month, two sets of human remains were discovered as a result of the reservoir's receding shoreline.

Glennon said the situation at Lake Mead is forcing local officials to take "dramatic steps" to replenish the reservoir, particularly as climate change is expected to worsen drought conditions in the West and will continue to affect how much water flows into the Colorado River.

"This is the 23rd year of drought, and we don't know if it's a 23-year drought, a 50-year drought or maybe it's a 100-year drought," he said. "We just don't know what's going to turn this around."

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by Anonymousreply 26June 25, 2022 4:40 PM

Keep talking about that "dry heat" and how wonderful it is to move to Arizona.

by Anonymousreply 1June 22, 2022 10:43 PM

But, climate change doesn't exist according to Trumpers.

by Anonymousreply 2June 22, 2022 10:44 PM

This is a warning to Las Vegas.

Get out of there while you can.

Soon, there will be no water in that area.

by Anonymousreply 3June 22, 2022 10:44 PM

It'll take three more years to hit "dead pool" and that is if everything stays the same.

by Anonymousreply 4June 22, 2022 10:46 PM

Well then R4, that's three years to prepare and get the hell out of Vegas.

It's not going to be pretty when the water runs out.

by Anonymousreply 5June 22, 2022 10:48 PM

But how will I swim naked in the Bellagio fountains if there's no water?????

by Anonymousreply 6June 22, 2022 10:49 PM

Did someone say Deadpool?

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by Anonymousreply 7June 23, 2022 2:50 AM

Where does Palm Springs get its water from?

by Anonymousreply 8June 23, 2022 5:15 AM

Jesus fucking Christ, that's dire.

by Anonymousreply 9June 23, 2022 5:37 AM

Has nobody heard of digging your own well?

by Anonymousreply 10June 23, 2022 5:46 AM

They'll be drinking each others recycled poop water. That's what hydrologists predict.

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by Anonymousreply 11June 23, 2022 6:39 AM

Las Vegas is a big collection of strip malls in a sandbox. No loss if they lose water. What a fucking dump that place is.

by Anonymousreply 12June 23, 2022 6:49 AM

Have we invented stillsuits yet?

by Anonymousreply 13June 23, 2022 7:59 AM


Does this answer your question?

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by Anonymousreply 14June 23, 2022 10:39 AM

While watching news story about another skeleton that was recently discovered (believed to be a boater who drowned in that part of the lake, 30+ years ago), I stumbled upon this video from a guy who fishes at Lake Mead regularly. Over the past month or so, he's been documenting the water level each time he goes out. It's pretty jaw-dropping to see how fast the water level is falling -- JUST within the past month or so! -- let alone over the last several years (or decade).

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by Anonymousreply 15June 23, 2022 8:41 PM

If God had wanted humans to live in the desert, he would have made it rain there.

by Anonymousreply 16June 23, 2022 8:43 PM

Palm Springs ' water supply is complicated.

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by Anonymousreply 17June 23, 2022 9:36 PM

Our government will address the issue with free popsicles for the affected masses.

by Anonymousreply 18June 24, 2022 2:13 AM

Short term solution: Pipe water in from other locations.

Longer solution: Develop more efficient ways of de-salinating sea water and inducing rain.

Distant solution, but necessary to work towards: Capture cometary ice, and add it to our planet's water supply.

Perhaps our space-going trillionaires can start developing ways to do this.

by Anonymousreply 19June 24, 2022 5:57 AM

[quote] Short term solution: Pipe water in from other locations.

Don't look at us.

by Anonymousreply 20June 24, 2022 6:10 AM

All y'all Okies are gonna hafta git on back ta where ya come from.

by Anonymousreply 21June 24, 2022 6:14 AM

The younger guy in r15 vid is cute !!

by Anonymousreply 22June 24, 2022 7:47 AM

R19 Even longer solution: stop making so many new humans.

by Anonymousreply 23June 24, 2022 8:38 AM

Save the planet.....kill yourself now!

by Anonymousreply 24June 24, 2022 12:49 PM

We’re doomed!

by Anonymousreply 25June 25, 2022 9:34 AM

These are some dire predictions.

I don't know how Arizona and Nevada will be able to sustain their exploding populations.

Both metro areas of Phoenix and Las Vegas have well over a million people.

It's no wonder they're running out of water.

by Anonymousreply 26June 25, 2022 4:40 PM
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