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Lake Mead at Lowest Level Ever

Posted by feww on September 23, 2010

DROUGHT: EXISTENTIAL THREAT  TO REGION

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US, reached lowest level since June 1937

Formed by water impounded by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. It reached its lowest ever level in August 2010.


Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States, formed by water from Colorado River impounded by the Hoover Dam, hydrates Nevada, southern California, Arizona, and northern Mexico. It is receding to its lowest level since the 1930s, when it was first filled. Image source unknown. Click images to enlarge.

Lake Mead is located on the Colorado River, about 48 km (30 miles) southeast  of Las Vegas and west of the Grand Canyon.

Extending about 180 km (112 miles) behind the dam, Lake Mead holds about 28.5 million acre feet (35 km³) of water, and provides hydroelectric power for the region.

[NOTE: An acre-foot is the amount of water that covers one acre to a depth of one foot.]


Lake Mead held only 10.35 million acre-feet, 37 percent of its capacity on August 11, 2010, when this image was taken. Source: NASA E/O. Download largest image (3 MB, JPEG).


This image acquired on August 22, 1985 shows the lake holding about 24.8 million acre-feet.  Source: NASA E/O.  Download largest image (3 MB, JPEG). Full caption available here.

The water elevation stood at 331 meters (1,087 feet) above sea level in August 2010 compared with August 1985 lake level of 370m (1,213 feet). Water restrictions will be imposed should the water elevation drop to 328m (1,075 feet). [See Lake Meade Elevation at Hoover Dam.]

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One Response to “Lake Mead at Lowest Level Ever”

  1. feww said

    Last reading on September 14, 2011 : 1,114.45 feet above sea level
    Lake Mead’s water level is still below the drought level of 1,125 feet
    The lake is 105.15 feet below Full Pool (Elevation 1,219.60 ) which means
    it’s 49.56% of Full Pool (25,877,000 af)

    Source: http://lakemead.water-data.com/

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