Tag Archives: Lake Mead

Water in the US West

Back in 2014 and 2015 I wrote a series of articles on the drought conditions in California and Nevada (read: Jeopardy Question: This Body of Water Determines the Fate of the Modern Day Anasazi, Another Dry Essay, and Eat your Broccoli Now).

When I wrote the first article above, I looked at water requirements and usage for Las Vegas in detail. I also looked at Lake Mead both historically and the current levels at that time. I noted of the level “The latter is only 0.58 feet above the record low of 1081.94 feet set in Nov. 2010 (see complete data set).

I knew that California had received substantial rainfall over the last couple of years and stopped following the situation. I was surprised today, therefore, to read: Leaking Las Vegas: West’s Biggest Reservoir Nears Critical Threshold.

 reviewed the lake levels (LAKE MEAD AT HOOVER DAM, ELEVATION (FEET)) since 2010 and found that the lowest point was June 2016 at 1071.64 feet. This is lower than the drought period back in 2014.

California is the Canary

We examined the western U.S. drought in an essay published July 1, 2014: Jeopardy Question: This Body of Water Determines the Fate of the Modern Day Anasazi. In it we focused on the situation of Lake Mead, the reservoir is a vital source of drinking and irrigation water for Las Vegas and eastern California. The reservoir is also important for power generation since it forms the forebay of the Hoover Dam generating station.

Eat your Broccoli Now

In Another Dry Essay we discussed the drought in California with a chronology of links to related articles through October 2014. We followed up in December with The U.S. South-West Drought Revisited.

Recently we checked the drought monitor and although the drought severity has dropped from most severe or D4 in the north and south it remains most severe for the central region of the state as seen in Figure 1. The table in the monitor with the corresponding data shows that as of March 3, 2015, 39.92% of the state was in the D4 category. A year ago the figure was 22.37%, almost half.

The U.S. South-West Drought Revisited

We initially looked at the California drought in February of this year in our essay, Another Dry Essay. Since no one is currently writing about it we thought we would review the situation.

Jeopardy Question: This Body of Water Determines the Fate of the Modern Day Anasazi

The answer is Lake Mead and the civilization that is about to disappear like the Anasazi is Las Vegas and its profligate life style.  We were motivated to write this essay, partly because it is a piece in the puzzle of a larger theme that we have begun on complex adaptive systems (CAS: The Operative Principle Behind Everything) and partly by this article from Zero Hedge: Las Vegas Is “Screwed”; The Water Situation “Is As Bad As You Can Imagine”. We first look at a few facts about Las Vegas. Then we look at Lake Mead and its importance to the region. Finally we look at the present state of affairs and Las Vegas’ future.

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