Like California, southern Nevada has been drenched with repeated rainstorms this winter. But, has the recent rain increased Lake Mead’s water levels?
The simple answer is: yes, but only a little (so far).
As of Wednesday, “Lake Mead (was) about 28% full, with the elevation today at about 1,045.04 (feet),” according to Bureau of Reclamation Public Affairs Specialist Doug Hendrix. “Overall, we currently stand at about 0.3 feet higher than originally projected in December.”
As of Thursday, Lake Mead has risen another fraction of a foot to 1,045.25 feet above sea level.
“Over the past few weeks, recent storm events and runoff into the tributaries that enter Lake Mead as well as reduced releases from Hoover Dam – due to a decrease in downstream demand – have had some impact on the lake’s elevation,” Hendrix told KTLA sister station KLAS in Las Vegas. “While the amount of precipitation received in the lower basin and from tributary inflows helps, rainfall from recent winter storms, alone, isn’t enough to offset the decades-long reservoir declines.”
The majority of water in Lake Mead, a reservoir on the Colorado River, comes from snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains, which is off to a great start this winter.
Most basins in Colorado are well above 100% of normal.