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NASA releases powerful images showing water level drop in Lake Mead amid drought

Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the U.S., supplying water to millions of people
Lake Mead drought NASA satellite images
Posted at 6:08 PM, Jul 21, 2022

Water levels in the largest water reservoir in the United States have dropped to record lows amid an ongoing drought.

Lake Mead's water levels have dropped so low that its mineralized shores, once underwater, can be seen from space. The massive reservoir supplies water to people in seven states, along with tribal lands and areas of Northern Mexico as well. As the Associated Press reported, this mega-drought in the U.S. West has been made worse by climate change, experts say.

The dramatic drop in water levels at Lake Mead National Recreation Area has revealed skeletal remains, along with what has been described as a graveyard of previously submerged watercraft, once lost.

Lake Mead reservoir
Bobby Rhinebolt, right, smokes a cigarette while sitting beside Victor Perez near a formerly sunken boat implanted upright in mud and now above the water line at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, near Boulder City, Nev. As the water level at the lake recedes, sunken boats and other debris are appearing along the shoreline. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Lake Mead was formed in 1935 when the Colorado River, which divides Nevada from Arizona, stopped flowing beneath Black Canyon when the Hoover Dam was constructed for irrigation, hydro-power and flood control.

Now NASA has released dramatic satellite images from space showing how dramatically Lake Mead's water line has receded.

NASA Lake Mead drought

The water elevation in the reservoir has reached just above 1,000 feet recently, NASA says. When the lake is full, the water level is at about 1,200 feet.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reported that Lake Mead was only at about 27% full as of July 18.