As we head into June and the daylight lasts longer, Lake Mead’s water level has shown an incredible rebound, rising almost 10 feet this year. While that’s great news for the nation’s largest reservoir that has seen historic water level drops, it’s only a quarter of the rise at Lake Powell.
This year’s water level rises can be primarily credited to the massive snowpack that’s melting off the Colorado Rockies this spring. Lake Powell’s water level has now risen more than 41 feet since the beginning of 2023.
Lake Mead has also benefited from the decision by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to release more water through the Glen Canyon Dam at Lake Powell, located upriver 360 miles. The initial release took place in May and since then, Reclamation has continued to release more water daily than the average amount most years.
Now that the summer growing season downriver from Lake Mead has begun, Reclamation is releasing more water through Hoover Dam.
The increased release from Lake Mead might be the reason that, for the last two days, the water level has actually dropped, but dropped by less than a tenth of an inch.
In the summer of 2022, Lake Mead’s water level dropped to a historic low of 1,040.71 feet, or almost 14 feet lower than its current level. While it has waivered a little over the last 11 months, the water level has continued a steady climb.
Lake Powell hit its historic low this year on April 11 when it was at 3,520.11 feet above sea level. Since that day it has risen almost 46 feet. This means that over the course of 55 days, Lake Powell has risen an average of .8 feet a day.