Lake Mead

CRRG Reports: Lake Mead Structural Deficit and a Call for Unified Management of Colorado River

A December 2015 report by the Colorado River Research Group (CRRG) calls for enacting strategies to deal with the structural deficit in Lake Mead. The lower basin reservoir of Lake Mead receives about 9 million acre-feet (AF) of water annually primarily the upper basin state’s Lake Powell. However, when evaporative losses are factored in, Lake Mead loses 10.2 million AF each year. This annual shortfall of 1.2 million AF of water has come to be known as the structural deficit. According to one of the report authors, Doug Kenney, while this is primarily a lower basin issue, the faster the structural deficit pulls down Lake Mead, more legal and political pressure will be on the upper basin states.


March 10, 2016--El Nino and the Colorado (Boulder Weekly)

Water levels and rainfall for the Colorado River basin were below-average in January and February, and will remain so until at least July 2016, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The basin is at only 61 percent of its seasonal average. Likewise, inflow into Lake Powell and Lake Mead is also below the seasonal average.


January 4, 2016--Report: Lake Mead dropping 12 feet per year (Rocky Mountain PBS)

The math is simple. So states a disarming truism in a new report from the Colorado River Research Group, formed of water scholars in four states, “an independent, scientific voice for the future of the Colorado River.” In 2007, the U.S.


Connor: Find a Fix or We Will

At the 70th Annual Conference of the Colorado River Water Users Association (CRWUA), Deputy Interior Secretary Michael Connor implied that if the lower basin states of Arizona, California, and Nevada can’t find a fix for their Colorado River’s problems, the interior secretary will find it for them. In an Arizona Daily Star article, Connor referenced the need to prevent Lake Mead from falling to dangerously low levels. Should this be the case there would be huge cutbacks in water deliveries to the agricultural sector, cities, and Indian tribes.


December 14, 2015--Low level pumping station work begins on Lake Mead (CEG)

As a companion to Intake No. 3 on Lake Mead, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) is building the low lake level pumping station, a project whose cost is estimated at $650 million, in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, just 500 ft.


Water Emergency Staved at Lake Mead

With unusually high rainfall in May and June, the second-highest level of precipitation during that period in the past 108 years, trailing only 1983, Lake Mead water levels were boosted thereby averting a possible water emergency that would have triggered cuts in water allocations next year. Officials had warned as recently as June that there was a 33 percent chance of a “Tier 1” water shortage in 2016, which occurs when the water level in Lake Mead drops below an elevation of 1,075 feet. A Tier 1 declaration would result in a cut of 320,000 acre-feet to Arizona’s share of Colorado River water, about an 11 percent reduction. In August the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) reported that there would not be an emergency declaration. Lake Mead’s elevation was at 1,078.24 feet at the end of August. In addition to dropping the chances of a Tier 1 declaration to zero for 2016, the BOR lowered predictions for 2017 from the 75 percent chance it was looking at this summer to just 18 percent in the latest report. While the findings are good news for all seven states in the Colorado River basin, the drought is definitely not over but this will buy time to find more collaborative solutions.


September 29, 2015--Water users seek ways to avoid forced cutbacks (Pine River Times)

The nightmare scenario for West Slope water nerds is a "call" on the Colorado River, meaning that Colorado, Wyoming, and Northwest New Mexico are not delivering a legally required amount of water to California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. If or when that happens, some water users in the three Upper Basin states will have their water use curtailed so that the Lower Basin sta


September 24, 2015--L.A. region pays for water from drought-stricken Lake Mead (All Gov)

Nearly five drought-stricken months after John Glionna at the Los Angeles Times wrote about how “anemic Lake Mead has hit a historic low,” Las Vegas water authorities agreed to sell a rather hefty supply from what's left in the reservoir to the Los Angeles area. The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) will pay around $45 million a year to receive 150,000 ac


September 1, 2015--Spring rains boosted Lake Mead, heading off water emergency--for now (Arizona PBS)

Unusually high rainfall in the Colorado River basin this spring helped boost Lake Mead water levels, averting a possible water emergency that would have triggered cuts in water allocations next year. Officials had warned as recently as June that there was a 33 percent chance of a “Tier 1″ water shortage in 2016, which occurs when the water level in Lake Mead drops below an elev


July 7, 2015--Drought sheds new light on WWII wreckage in Lake Mead (KJZZ)

July 1948, a B-29 Superfortress zips over the remote waters of Lake Mead. It’s a secret test mission for a missile guidance system. Except there's a problem: the pilots misjudge the attitude. The massive bomber plunges into the lake. The crew survives, but the plane is lost.


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