Lake Mead: a new low

Will the US sleepwalk into its own Day Zero?

Lake Mead has plummeted to a new low of 1,054 feet.  That’s the lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s and around 30% of its capacity.

The decline since the late 90s has been dramatic with drought and water consumption both factors.

The low level has revealed things in the lake for the first time.  The 1971 water intake valve is visible.  And now a body in a barrel.  Investigators have said “it’s likely that we will find additional bodies.”

About 25 million people in Arizona, Nevada, California and Mexico rely on Lake Mead water.  Many of them have been subject to water consumption cuts since the start of this year.

With little prospect of increased rainfall in the future, more steps will be needed to ensure that water distribution networks are monitored and leakage reduced to make the most of the reducing amount of water that is available.  And this will likely require regulation to ensure that it happens.