Lake Mead Not Half Full

Carlin Harris Pexels

Despite historically powerful storms that hit the West Coast as part of the effect of the Pineapple Express and over a year of relatively wet weather, Lake Mead, which was headed toward extinction, is still less than half full. It is good news that the electricity generated by the Hoover Dam that creates Lake Mead will continue at about 1592 MW  annually.

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Last week, according to KNTV, “The reservoir currently sits at 1,076 feet. That’s about 28 feet higher than this time last year, when the level was 1,047 feet.” It is 150 feet lower than capacity, and Lake Mead is only 37% full. Most scientists believe it will take several years of weather, which produces much more precipitation than average, to get back closer to 100%. That will never happen, even if California along the Pacific Coast is pounded by storms from time to time. The Colorado River is 1,500 miles long, so the effects of rain or snowmelt will not solve the drought problem along most of its length.

Scientists use the language that Lake Mead could soon reach a stage of “not being in drought.” However, much of the area near it continues to be in a 1,200-year drought, which has not changed. One forecast is that the current increase in the level of Lake Mead will disappear in less than two years.

There is a myth that heavy storms in the West will change the direction of the great drought and the problems it has created with both water supply and electricity generation. It is not true.

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