Is Lake Mead rising?

Lake Mead’s water level has risen slightly from heavy rains, but will that be enough to save the fast-drying reservoir?

The lake, a reservoir of the Colorado River formed by the Hoover Dam, provides water for 25 million people in California, Nevada and Arizona but is facing the effects of a prolonged mega-drought.

Its water levels are dropping rapidly, getting closer and closer to Deadpool levels. When it reaches that point, the lake, which powers thousands of people, will reach a bad point.

In July 2022, Lake Mead fell to its lowest level on record, at just 27 percent of its usual capacity.

Lake Mead
A file photo of Lake Mead. The water level of the lake has risen slightly.

The reservoir relies on rain and winter snow to replenish its water level. With the prolonged drought, these weather patterns are becoming more erratic and the lake isn’t filling up as much as it used to.

But the lake’s water level has risen slightly recently, from 1,044 feet in late 2022 to 1,045 feet in early 2023.

This could be due to some incredibly heavy rains sweeping across the region, which may help offset the effects of the drought.

Where is Lake Mead?

Lake Mead is on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It is formed by the Hoover Dam, which was first constructed between 1931 and 1936.

The sudden rains that swept across the region even altered Nevada’s drought status, which normally remains fairly static.

The US Drought Monitor changed Nevada’s status by 0 percent due to rainfall in an exceptional drought. Last year Nevada had an exceptional drought status of 8 percent.

However, the state is still in 24 percent extreme drought and 78 percent severe drought.

Although Lake Mead water levels hit an all-time low in 2022, it was also the year when water levels rose slightly for the first time in three years.

The state experienced a particularly wet monsoon season in late July and into August, meaning the river filled up easily. During that time, areas saw more than half an inch of rain in just 10 minutes Las Vegas Review Journal reported at the time.

The recent rains are unlikely to be a long-term solution for the lake. The region continues to struggle with mostly dry conditions and water levels are still incredibly low compared to the same point last year. In early 2022, the lake’s water level was 1,066 feet.

The prolonged drought in the western United States has been one of the driest stretches in the United States in the past 1,200 years. Scientists attribute this mainly to human-caused climate change. Is Lake Mead rising?

Rick Schindler

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