NASA has released new satellite images that show Lake Mead’s water level dropping rapidly since 2000. Lake Mead’s current water levels are the lowest since April 1937, when the reservoir was still being filled for the first time.
“Lake levels at the dam should stay above 1000 feet to continue operating hydropower turbines at normal levels,” NASA said.
According to NASA, the water elevation at the Hoover Dam on July 18 was 1041.30 feet above sea level, down from 1199.97 feet at the end of July 2000.
Lake Mead supplies drinking water to approximately 25 million people in Arizona, Nevada, California, and Mexico.
Bronson Mack, SNWA’s spokesperson and outreach manager, dug deep into water use data, stating that the lake’s water is used by three states and the entire country of Mexico. Mack explained that they each receive a different allocation, which is a legal entitlement.
The fall watering system comes into force on September 1st. Residents are required to change their sprinkler clocks and water on the days specified. According to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, seasonal watering restrictions are in effect through August 31 and forbid watering between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. because of the risk of water loss due to excessive heat and wind during those hours. It is never acceptable to water on Sundays.
“Only about 60% of our valley complies with the seasonal watering restrictions,” Mack said.
Visit SWNA to find your watering day group.