Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lake Mead Water Level Crisis

As anyone who lives in the Southwest knows, there has been a long term drought going on for the past 15 years or so.  The Hoover Dam is located outside of Boulder City and we've been there a number of times over the years.  The first time was in 1967; however, I don't have a picture of the dam from that time.  I do have a number of photos over the past 17 years and it is remarkable to see how the water level at the dam has fallen over this time period.

The following set of pictures shows the water level and it is scary to see how much lower the level is now.  If it gets down to 1,050 ft, then the intake pipes for Las Vegas will not function any longer.  They are building another intake pipe that will work at a much lower level and hopefully get them through this drought.

Lake Mead level - 1212 ft

Lake Mead level - 1178 ft

Lake Mead level - April 2015  1080 ft
 The white rings on the land in the photo below is where the water was a few years ago before the drought began.  There are a number of marinas that used to have boat docks and launch ramps with access to the lake.  They are now hundreds of yards away from the lake and in some cases the water isn't even visible from the marina.  We drove down a boat launch ramp (former part of the lake) and didn't realize it was the ramp because the water was over 600 yards away down a dirt road.  That was an eye opener.

The small island in foreground previously was almost all under water.

All this area was under water.

The pickup in this picture would have been under water in 1999.
Hundreds of years ago the Indians who lived in this area left because of severe drought so this isn't something that hasn't come up before.  We have the technology to help alleviate this problem but the costs would be astronomical.  William Shatner, the actor suggested they build a pipeline from where the water is plentiful and pump it into the lake.  Cost?   Estimated at $36 billion.

We've had to ask for water at meals out here rather them asking if we wanted water.  Today we drove by a new building complex that was huge and all of the people living there will need water.  I wonder when the local government will figure out that they can't continue on like this during the drought?

I guess people a lot smarter than I are working on this and hopefully they will have some answers other than to just wait for the rains to come back.  After all, this is a desert and continues on for hundreds of miles.

That's it for me on this subject.  

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