Lake Mead Water Level Reaches All-Time Low

Arizona Highways

This 2008 photo of Lake Mead clearly shows the white "bathtub ring" around the lake. Water levels have dropped even further since then. | Courtesy of Lake Mead National Recreation Area This 2008 photo of Lake Mead clearly shows the white “bathtub ring” around the lake. Water levels have dropped even further since then. | Courtesy of Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead’s water level has dropped to an all-time low, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced last week, citing ongoing drought in the Southwest as the cause of the decline.

The lake, formed by Hoover Dam on the Arizona-Nevada border, is currently more than 200 feet below its “full” level of 1,296 feet above sea level. Lake Mead last reached that level in 1998, and the subsequent drought has left a large white “bathtub ring” around the water line.

If the water level drops much further, it could trigger a shortage declaration, which would mean less water would be delivered to the areas the lake serves, including Phoenix and Las Vegas. That isn’t expected to happen this year…

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