The Southwestern U.S Drought - Some Hydrological Impacts -
Lake Mead Elevation at Hoover Dam Continues to Fall

Dr. Ken Dewey,
High Plains Regional Climate Center and National Drought Mitigation Center

October 31, 2006 Report

 Image © Ken Dewey, HPRCC.  Lake Mead at 51% of capacity (October 31, 2006).
For more information about this photo and what is indicated by the
red lines put on the image, see the photo galleries.

The white "bathtub ring" is the result of exposing rocks that were at one time
under the water and collecting mineral deposits.  A clear glass, for example, dipped in
water and then allowed to dry will have mineral deposit "spots" on the glass.

Photo Gallery 1
Photo Gallery 2
Photo Gallery 3
Photo Gallery 4

> The level of Lake Mead at Hoover Dam has been falling since October 1998, when it reached the
    all-time high of 1215.76 feet.

> The level of Lake Mead at Hoover Dam has dropped 89.63 feet since October 1998.

> The October 2006 level of 1126.13 feet is the lowest October level since 1964 when it was only 1095.12 feet.

> It took 19 years after the 1964 low point for Lake Mead to fill up again.

Lake Mead Max. Elevation: 1,229 feet
Current Elevation (November 1, 2006): 1,126 feet
Max. Surface area: 162,700 acres
Current (October 31, 2006) Surface area: 100,000 acres
Current (October 31, 2006) Feet Below Maximum elevation: -103 feet
Current (October 31, 2006) Percent Full: 51%

LINK TO all of the Lake Mead Elevation Data Archive

NOTE: as of October 31, 2006:
Horseshoe Lake is only at 2% of capacity
Alamo Reservoir is only at 14% of capacity

The following table has additional information on water levels on nearby reservoirs.

October 31, 2006 
Other Reservoir Levels in the Southwest
(The data in this table are from Arizona Game and Fish)

Alamo Reservoir: 
Max. Elevation: 1,235 Current Elevation: 1,119 
Max. Surface: 13,300  Current Surface: 3,554 
Feet Below Max.: -116; Percent Full: 14%

Apache Lake: (Horse Mesa)
Max. Elevation: 1,914 Current Elevation: 1,867 
Max. Surface: 2,656  Current Surface: 1,914 
Feet Below Max.: -47; Percent Full: 56%

Max. Elevation: 1,798 Current Elevation: 1,778 
Max. Surface: 2,815  Current Surface: 2,216 
Feet Below Max.: -20; Percent Full: 72%

Lake Havasu:
Max. Elevation: 450 Current Elevation: 448 
Max. Surface: 20,400 Current Surface: 19,500 
Feet Below Max.: -2; Percent Full: 94% 

Lake Havasu, unlike Lake Powell and Lake Mead is not allowed to 
substantially change its storage.  This is the result of it being a feeder lake 
into the Los Angeles aqueduct system

Horseshoe Lake: 
Max. Elevation: 2,026 Current Elevation: 1,952 
Max. Surface: 2,812  Current Surface: 493
Feet Below Max.: -74; Percent Full: 2%

  Lake Mohave: 
Max. Elevation: 647 Current Elevation: 635 
Max. Surface: 28,800 Current Surface: 25,800 
Feet Below Max.: -12; Percent Full: 82%

Lake Pleasant: (Waddell Dam) 
Max. Elevation: 1,702 Current Elevation: 1,669 
Max. Surface: 9,957  Current Surface: 7,657 
Feet Below Max.: -33; Percent Full: 66%

Lake Powell: 
Max. Elevation: 3,700 Current Elevation: 3,608 
Max. Surface: 160,800 Current Surface: 99,600 
Feet Below Max.: -92; Percent Full: 52%

Roosevelt Lake: 
Max. Elevation: 2,151 Current Elevation: 2,120 
Max. Surface: 21,493  Current Surface: 16,356 
Feet Below Max.: -31; Percent Full: 64%

San Carlos: 
Max. Elevation: 2,525 Current Elevation: 2,461 
Max. Surface: 19,985 Current Surface: 8,583 
Feet Below Max.: -64; Percent Full: 23%

Previous HPRCC/NDMC Lake Mead, Southwest Drought Reports

The year 2003 Drought in the Southwestern U.S.

The Year 2002 Drought in the Southwestern U.S.

Lake Mead, and Vicinity, Water Issues -  News Reports and Data

Satellite Sees a Smaller Lake Mead

Drought Lowers Lake Mead

Lake Mead in Drought

Lake Mead, National Park Service:  Low Water News

Lake Mead:  Why is the Water Going Down?

NASA:  Lake Mead Water Level Drops

Lake Mead Water Level Taking a Toll on Businesses

The Colorado River System is in the Worst Drought on Record

Small Earthquakes at Lake Mead Blamed on Drought and Low Level of the Lake

Drought Conditions in the West

Water Data.Com

Lake Powell Water Levels

History of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell

Lakes Low Water Levels Exposes Prized Canyons

Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge:  Construction Resuming Slowly Following Collapse

Quenching Thirst

Single Firm to Design, Build Water Intake

Drought Shrinking Jewels of the Desert

Moving Into Deeper Water

Interior Chief Cites Progress on Water Deal

A Crisis Brews on the Colorado

Drought Stricken West:  Daily Routines Tapped to Save Water

Colorado River:  Drought and Deadlines

Hoover Dam Information
A view of the Hoover Dam when the water level is high enough that water is going into the spillways on the other side and disgorging on this side.

Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation.

Bureau of Reclamation

Hoover Dam Tours

Sunset Cities:  History of Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam:   Lonely Lands Made Fruitful

Hoover Dam U.S. 93 Bypass Project

Hoover Dam Museum

Desert U.S.A. Hoover Dam Information


October 31, 2006 Drought Monitor Map

Click HERE  or on the above map to see the current U.S. Drought Monitor Map

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