Friday, February 18, 2005

Western storms help raise Lake Mead water level

As you can see from the news below, even the 2.5 months of storm, the Water in Lake Mead still fall short the normal & it is only at 58% capacity.

Southern California have been buying water from Colorado river as well as Lake mead for the demand.

It is essential to ensure that the Water conservations shall continue, so that the people in Southern California shall not be facing the suffering of Water Rationing.

Western storms help raise Lake Mead water level

LAS VEGAS (AP) — This winter's wet storms helped raise Lake Mead water levels almost 7.5 feet in January, and the water could rise another 2.5 feet by the end of February, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says.

But with Friday's water level at 1,140 feet above sea level, the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam remains well below normal, at about 58% capacity.

"The water's up, but it's not high yet," Bob Walsh, Bureau of Reclamation spokesman, said Friday. "We're still in a drought. That's key."

Water officials expect the lake will drop 12.5 feet by the end of the year as the region's drought continues into its sixth year and as water is pumped out to Las Vegas and other areas that use the lake's water. It would still be more than half full.

Flooding last month set records on rivers and washes feeding Lake Mead from southern Nevada, southern Utah and northwestern Arizona.

That contributed to the largest monthly rise in the lake level since 1983, and the third-largest monthly rise since the Glen Canyon Dam opened upstream in 1966, forming Lake Powell in Utah.

With precipitation above average in the mountains of the Colorado Basin, water levels at Lake Powell were expected to be higher this summer than last summer, said Barry Wirth, spokesman for the bureau's regional office in Salt Lake City.

However, water levels aren't expected to rise on Lake Powell until snow begins melting in April, Wirth said Friday.

Lake Powell is about 35% full, and should rise about 45 feet to become more than half full this year, Wirth said.

Lake Mead benefitted from storms reducing water demand from farms and cities that draw from the Colorado River, and from gushing river tributaries above and below Hoover Dam.

"It all adds up to some extra storage in Lake Mead as a result of the storm systems in the last two and a half months or so," Walsh said.

Friday's water level at Lake Mead was 14 feet above the record lowest level in recent years, set at 1,126 feet last Sept. 30.

Las Vegas draws about 90% of its drinking water from Lake Mead, with intakes at 1,000 feet above sea level.

Despite the rise, the largest man-made reservoir in North America still finished last month down about 3 feet from the year before. - Western storms help raise Lake Mead water level

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