Lake Mead will be bolstered by upcoming water release, say officials

Water levels in Lake Mead have dropped so low that volcanic rock, sunken boats, and even dead bodies have resurfaced.
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 3:04 PM MDT
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BOULDER CITY, Nev. (KKCO) - Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US and a critical resource for millions living in the west, is set for a much-needed reprieve after a season of record-breaking winter precipitation.

The US Government controls the lake’s water level via releases from Glen Canyon Dam, and the Bureau of Reclamation plans to increase the amount of water to release into Lake Mead.

The BoR said it plans to release roughly 4.7 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water into Lake Mead.

The water will bolster the lake’s critically low water level, which got so low that sunken boats, volcanic rock, and even dead bodies have been left high and dry.

People walk by a formerly sunken boat standing upright into the air with its stern buried in...
People walk by a formerly sunken boat standing upright into the air with its stern buried in the mud along the shoreline of Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, near Boulder City, Nev. More than 10% of the water carried by the Colorado River evaporates, leaks or spills as the 1,450-mile powerhouse river of the West flows through the region’s dams, reservoirs and open-air canals. (AP Photo/John Locher)(John Locher | AP)

The release and additional snowmelt is expected to bring the level of Lake Mead up to about 25 feet higher than it was at the end of last year, say experts.

This year’s record-breaking snowpack across the western mountains of the US is expect to help relieve years of drought in the Colorado River basin once warmer weather settle in.

Lake Powell, another critically important western reservoir, is also expected to benefit from the hefty snowpack totals. However, officials warn that it will take a lot more than one year of higher-than-average snowpack to reverse the years-long drought that left the region at its driest in over a thousand years.