Park Service still accepting suggestions to address low-water concerns at Lake Mead

Local News

Lake Mead’s water level has been dropping for years and is expected to continue to drop.

The National Park Service is constantly monitoring and studying the levels.

In the event that water elevation decreases below, 1,050-feet officials have developed a plan to address operational needs because due to the government shutdown, the public wasn’t able to provide comment on the low water plan for Lake Mead, so an extension has been provided through Feb.15.

“The water is getting lower and lower and lower, so I don’t know what’s going to happen in a few years,” said Sara Torres, a Nevada resident.

A different picture for Lake Mead as water levels continue to drop.

“The reservoir is a fluctuating lake so we have to make adjustments as the water level changes,” said Christie Vanover, a spokeswoman for Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Vanover says in order to operate for recreational activities, they have created a low water management plan.

“Our current plan takes us to an elevation of 1,050-feet but projections show that by Sept.  2020 the elevation may reach 1,048-feet,” said Vanover. 

There is a long-term strategy to maintain lake access at lake elevations above 950-feet, which will affect the continued use of marinas, launch ramps, and other facilities.

“Right now our plan is to continue concession operations and to continue launch ramps, but there will be some adjustments and some cut off points in certain locations such as Echo Bay, and up north in the temple bar area,” Vanover said. 

Torres spends a lot of her time at the lake, and what she see’s now is nothing compared to what the lake used to look like.

“I’ve seen it all the way to the white lines; I’ve seen it up on the spillways,” Torres said.

Torres hopes the plan being proposed, and public input will help the area she loves. 

“The projections right now do show that the lake is likely to decline over the next couple of years,” Vanover said. 

“There’s lots to do here without the water. What are you going to do,” Torres asked? 

Although there are no projections that indicate the lake will reach 950 feet, an environmental assessment has been prepared for a second general management plan amendment. 

To comment on the National Park Service plan, go here.
 

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