Lake Mead, Nevada - then and now

  1. Lake Powell is in the same situation, as well as the Colorado river. The three primary sources of fresh water for the western US are all at record lows.

  2. I seen that some water ways that flow to the Mississippi are starting to dry up as well and seen that supposedly the Mississippi is having issue in general.

  3. First we get an expendable crew to fly to a comet traveling millions of miles an hour through space to get a huge chunk of ice and fly back and drop it in the lake/rivers

  4. Sure glad we are focused on climate change which will "doom" the earth in 50-100 years and not water rescouces which will dome the West in 5-10 years. /s/

  5. Oh they knew it was a bad idea, had to bend over backwards to convince buyers otherwise but the folks getting the sweet Saudi cash don’t give a faq

  6. A couple months ago there were several news stories about bodies being found now that the lake is drying up. Some assumed mob murders from that era of Las Vegas as well. Pretty interesting!

  7. I believe this is the lake where some kid on Tiktok posted a video of the torso of a dead women he found. It was gross to begin with but when he proceeded to stick his hand into the body to pull out plants I was out.

  8. Cali also grows 99% of the nation's pistachios...which require about 20 gallons of water to produce one pound of raw nuts.

  9. Rice is the most water hungry crop. It has to grow in a shallow lake. And in the valley it is done in a hot desert on a grand scale. 3500L or 18 bathtubs of water per kg. Insane.

  10. At least half life came with an exciting alien invasion. All we get is dehydration. And sometimes some as-yet unidentified lights in the sky. With our luck the lights are aliens, except they're cold blooded and are waiting for us to continue creating more deserts and to wipe ourselves out so they can colonize after and steal our jobs.

  11. What you should know is that these are showing two different extremes. In 1983 the Colorado river, lake Powell, and lake Mead hit an all time high. (The Glenn Canyon Dam (lake Powell) almost broke too). However, 2021 and now are both at all time lows

  12. They had to add plywood to the top of Glen Canyon Dam to hold back the water so it wouldn't overtop the dam.

  13. Dangerously so. Too the point the dams were at risk of not being able to absorb storm water. They then did a few years of high flow downstream to ensure surge capacity existed.

  14. Fun fact.... this was the ONLY time on the history of Hoover Dam that the water level spilled over...

  15. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water. It doesn't have to rain, it can just stay in the air floating around as a cloud or humidity. When it does rain it can be elsewhere on earth and way too much. Like how Pakistan was flooded with 6 feet of rainfall this summer.

  16. If I remember correctly there was some level in a desert with a dam, so maybe it was this one in fact.

  17. 100% agree, but I think golf courses account for less than 1% of the water usage. Municiple usage in general is less than 10%. Agriculture, depending on the state, is upwards of 80%.

  18. Both, it’s a reservoir that holds the extra water. Once it’s empty, they only have whatever flows down the mountain that day. At that point, they will no longer be able to use more. It’s like when ur bank account is empty but you still have a job.

  19. Agriculture. Too much farming going to grow crops getting shipped to the other side of the world.

  20. I visited from NZ a few months back. I monitor irrigation and power schemes back home. It was really fascinating to me to see and learn about the scheme and the low lake level. Very interesting! We also got to see a turbine being fixed as well. Love this kinda stuff.

  21. Water levels are seriously low, no way around it. That said, showing it in 1983 is a little disingenuous. The 1982/1983 winter thaw was an outlier to say the least. It was way above average snowfall being melted very rapidly by way above average rainfall.

  22. Californian here with several friends in the culinary arts… they’re definitely developing desserts out West. Not sure what that has to do with drought and desertification though.

  23. Who would've thought that millions of people living in a fucking desert and not upgrading the infrastructure for the increased population for 40 years would horribly backfire...

  24. Lake Mead hasn’t been that high really ever. There was a flood in 1983, which is what this picture is from, but the only other time was in 1941 to test the overflow spillway. The current levels are unacceptably low, but this is comparing a literal flooded reservoir to today’s conditions.

  25. And once again, people will miss the point that 75% of the water in Lake Mead goes to irrigation for agriculture - this is caused by farmers trying to grow crops in areas they aren’t suited for instead of capitalising on things that can survive in those environments. The agricultural industry needs to adapt their produce instead of fallowing fields and playing the victim as their solution to this.

  26. I'm from San Diego, and we were rationing water in the '70's when I was a kid.....this current dire reality, of course, was anticipated, but solutions or serious dialog was never more important than promoting growth. I left decades ago- it was far too crowded to get around efficiently (both South CA and SF Bay Area) and the future looked anything but promising in regards to livability or home ownership.

  27. We've gone the other way here, dams were empty from a long drought and now they're overflowing and there has been flooding all over the place this year


  29. It's weird that boomers have completely destroyed the planet in the lifetimes of gen x/millenials. Like, you can see old documentaries from the 60s and 70s of flourishing landscapes across the world that are just barren wastes now.

  30. Deforestation 100%. People think it's just logging. No. It's every little inch of new sidewalk, pavement, wider roads, and grass lawns.

  31. I don't care, all we do is pout on the internet and nobody does anything irl about it. If we die so be it, we don't deserve to exist if we let this happen in the first place.

  32. I visited in 1997 and the levels were similar to the photo on the left so it’s even more startling because this decrease happened in a very short time.

  33. How many 2 million+ population cities in deserts are surrounded by lush greenery and freshwater lakes? How big were settlements around natural desert oases? A limited resource like an out-of-state river cannot serve millions of humans living in the desert. Whoever thought the current populations of the downstate users is sustainable needs a new job.

  34. Are these two pictures really evidence of something? I ask because I was on lake Mead around 1985, and as I remember it, the water level near the dam was about half-way between the two levels shown in these pics.

  35. The reason of the very low water level is on the one hand due to climate change. But also, and mainly, because they build entire housing communities in a dry sunny climate. The same goes for their farming.

  36. I've been here for both. In 83 you could run along the spillway, on the Arizona side, and by the time you made it to the other side you would be completely soaked from all the mist coming up. Then we'd see who could count the most fish flying over the top. Good times.

  37. Waisting all that water building and maintaining citys in deserts and watering non native grasses. 👏Ya No shit!👏

  38. I live thirty minutes from Lake Mead and it's honestly all dependent on the Colorado river and how much ice melt comes from there.

  39. I don't know why people continue to move to a region with a water shortage problem. There is going to be a great loss of wealth through worthless property. I hope I'm wrong and missing something though.

  40. I remember crossing Hoover Dam for the first time in my life in 1989. We moved from Phoenix to Las Vegas that summer. The water level was quite similar to the 1983 pic. Two years ago, my family drove through Las Vegas on a summer trip and it took a tremendous amount of emotional effort NOT to start crying in front of my kids. It's heartbreaking. The first time I crossed that road over the dam, I was almost 10 years old and it was magical! Now... it's devastating seeing the bleached "bathtub ring" from above.

  41. Sometimes I see this pictures and I’m like. We fucked. Then I go back to living my life in Oregon where is rains 700 inches a year.

  42. Just wanna say, as a Nevadan, we do a pretty good job of conservation here. It's all the other states with water rights fucking it up. Looking at you Utah

  43. Well, but then there's Vegas which was the only place in all of the western states I've been to where they didn't have water-saving shower heads lol.

  44. Wasn't the dessert in socal a gov subsidy? There were no oranges before the water was redirected. This definitely seems like hubris coming due.

  45. Frightening. In addition to the frequent and natural draught conditions California and other states that share this water are encouraging more people to move to the very areas that are using this water faster than nature can return it to the system.

  46. I can't speak for other places but in las vegas, residential water does not affect the water level. They recycle 100% of the water used indoors. The outdoor water usage is heavily regulated but could probably be even stricter. Even places like the resort/casinos are not a detriment to the water used.

  47. I see your point but it’s not housing that’s causing the drain at this level - 75% of the water goes to irrigation for agriculture. Residential isn’t the issue.

  48. You can’t simply take and take without ever putting back. We talk every day about actions having consequences.

  49. One thing about this picture to keep in mind is that 1983 and 84 were historically high water years. I’m 1984 the Glen Canyon Dam nearly collapsed because it wasn’t able to push all the water through that was melting in the Rockies. I’m not dismissing the dramatic decrease in water, I’m just pointing out you’re actually seeing the two biggest extremes in one picture.

  50. Deserts flood on occasion; this water isn't meant to supply massive urban areas in a desert for decades - the population and water use has to come down for Lake Mead to be sustainable.

  51. As practical engineering said, a reservoir being low isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it would be designed to do that. But like people who never let their phone go below 75% charge, it is just wasted capacity.

  52. This will probably only get exponentially worse as time goes on. Widescale desalination and water distribution network upgrades on the West Coast of the US is the only way to guarantee water security for the region.

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