Officials explain ‘dead pool’ and how to stop it in #LakeMead — The Las Vegas Sun #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Intake #1 exposed. Photo credit: SNWA

Click the link to read the article on the Las Vegas Sun website (Jessica Hill). Here’s an excerpt:

Dead pool is when the water level would get so low in a reservoir that a dam would no longer be able to produce hydropower or deliver water downstream. It’s been a subject of concern for Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which are on the Colorado River and deliver water to more than 36 million people in seven states as well as Mexico. Lake Mead would reach dead pool if the water level dropped to 895 feet, said Patti Aaron, public affairs officer for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Basin Region. As of Wednesday, the level of Lake Mead is 1,049.65 feet, she said.

“We’re not in danger of hitting dead pool,” Aaron said. “It’s not an imminent problem. It’s not something that’s going to happen tomorrow, and it’s something we don’t think is going to happen at all. We would take every action to not have that happen.”


Aaron said there were two ways to help Lake Mead: One is better hydrology and more snow melt from the mountains running off into the Colorado, but that’s not in anyone’s control. The second way is through conservation by the Lower Basin states — Nevada, Arizona and California, Aaron said, “leaving water instead of taking it.”

The Bureau of Reclamation is working with its partners in funding different pilot projects and studies to conserve water, she said. Projects include lining canals so they’re not losing water due to seepage, and desalination techniques.

“There’s a finite amount of water,” Aaron said, “so we have to look at things like desalination and augmentation.”

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