LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — When it comes to water and Lake Mead, every little bit helps, right?
That is proving to be correct this spring as the water level at Lake Mead fights to stay above the most recent projections put out by the government.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s “Most Probable 24-Month Study” published in March, Lake Mead was projected to have dropped to approximately 1,043.06 feet (above sea level). But, as of Monday morning, Lake Mead’s water level was at 1,045.91, almost 3 feet above the projected level. It’s a positive trend seen in the last three months of projections.
End-of-month projections for Lake Mead
Lake Mead’s elevation is shown as feet above sea level.
Elevation as of April 3: 1,045.92
Source: US Bureau of Reclamation
|DATE||JAN 2023||FEB 2023||MAR 2023|
As shown in the graphic below, Lake Mead’s water level did rise at the beginning of this year, followed by a small drop. However, partially due to recent rain in the area, the water level stabilized for a few days before rising almost half a foot at the end of March. Since then, the level of the lake has dropped again by about half a foot.
To the northeast, Lake Powell has shown signs of life and has risen more than a foot over the last month after dropping to a new all-time low in mid-March. Many people are speculating that the Bureau of Reclamation will allow Lake Powell to benefit from the melting snowpack in Colorado before Lake Mead.
As of one week ago, snowpack has built the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) stored in the Colorado Rockies to 158% of the average. That was up about 8% in only one week.
Currently, Lake Mead is a little over 5 feet higher than the record-low hit on July 27, 2022, when the water level was measured at 1,040.71. According to the latest projection from the Bureau of Reclamation, published before the recent rain, Lake Mead could drop to 1,036.9 feet by the end of April, just over 9 feet lower than its current level.