April 12, 2017; Arizona Daily Sun
Lake Mead is shrinking. The lake, one of the largest manmade lakes on the continent, created in 1935 by the Hoover Dam, is fed by the Colorado River as it flows south.
The lake, located about 25 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada, has not been at full capacity since 1983. Since 2000, the lake has lost 19 percent of its overall volume while increasing population has increased demands for the lake’s water. The journal Water Resources Research published a study in February that demonstrated the contributing stress of drought and climate change on the river. In short, the study estimates that one-third of the lake’s decline since 2000 is attributable to higher average temperatures in the basin, which in turn the study attributes to climate change. In February 2017, Lake Mead only held 42 percent of capacity, and that’s in advance of the level drop that comes with the summer sun.
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