If you have visited Lake Mead in recent months or years, there is no doubt that you have observed a lower than normal water level.  As a matter of fact, Lake Mead was at only 40% capacity in 2010 and the water level has continued to drop.  The water situation has brought on speculation that Lake Mead, the main water source for Las Vegas, will dry up.  Is that the case? What has led to the drought?
Lake Mead formed in 1936 by the National Park Service.  The name, as it is today, came around in the 1940s.  The Lake is supplied with water from snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains, traveling to the lake via the Colorado River.
Over the last two decades, many changes have happened that has affected the lake water level.  Climate change, reduced rainfall, and human demand have put a strain on the water source.  Las Vegas, the main consumer of Lake Mead’s water, has grown significantly.  All of these factors have led to the water level dropping over the last 20 years so, with prominent drops over the last 10 years, nearly creating an emergency.
Due to this, proactive action was taken by authorities.  For example, a new intake tunnel was constructed in the middle of the lake, which took 7 years to build and cost nearly $1.5 billion.  This will allow water to still be accessible even if the water level continues to drop, below the current intake tunnels.
As Lake Mead continues to experience below normal levels, what does the future hold?  The Las Vegas Water Authority, which oversees water usage, continues to monitor the situation.  Many watering restrictions exist to preserve this precious resource.  And plans are being explored to tap into additional water resources.
So, while it is concerning that Lake Mead, a major water source, continues to drop, proactive steps are being taken to either replenish or add additional water sources.  Water restrictions within the Las Vegas valley have already saved millions of gallons of water each year.  These steps should give a measure of peace of mind to those who make Las Vegas their home.
Contributed by Nicklin Property Management.
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