The ghosts of Lake Mead

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OVERKILL

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Lake Mead is currently at the lowest level it has ever been, since it began being filled in 1937 according to NASA:

NASA said:
Continuing a 22-year downward trend, water levels in Lake Mead stand at their lowest since April 1937, when the reservoir was still being filled for the first time. As of July 18, 2022, Lake Mead was filled to just 27 percent of capacity.
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July 6th, 2000:
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:

July 6th, 2022:
lakemead_oli2_2022184_2048.jpeg


Because of the insanely low water levels of course, plenty of things that were on the bottom are now visible. Multiple boats for example, and of course human remains. Three sets so far, one that is in a barrel, which they are figuring was a mob hit. Some pics of this stuff can be found at various links, like here:
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And here:
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And here, where they found a WWII-era landing craft that was used for survey work:
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Quite fascinating to see what's down there! Hopefully the remains allow the closure of some missing persons reports. I'm sure more ghosts will appear as the water level continues to recede.
 
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I wonder how many years of above average precipitation it would take to bring to back to near full. I'm guessing a decade or more.
 
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I highly doubt precipitation alone, even if it were above average for the most part, would bring back the water level. Water usage has to be cut down drastically in order to restore the water level.
Unfortunately the states that use this resource are too busy playing the blame game, instead of trying to solve the problem.

I suspect that it will have to go dry and stop functioning altogether before any meaningful changes take place.
 

Astro14

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This is the result of too many people residing in the desert.
It’s a bit more than that - though there are more and more people living in the Southwest.

Residing in the desert can be done on little water.

But many folks have lawns and other water-intensive landscaping.

There continues to be expanding agriculture.

There has also been over a decade of low rainfall/low snowfall.

Lake Mead is fed by the Colorado River, after all, and Colorado is in a drought. The snowpack in Colorado hasn’t been very good for a long time.

So, a variety of increased demands on water, and a lower supply.

You can see the drop lake levels all across the Southwest as you fly over them. When the drop (change in shoreline) is visible from 35,000’ - it’s a big drop…
 
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I wonder how many years of above average precipitation it would take to bring to back to near full. I'm guessing a decade or more.

Some scientists say never.

Higher than normal temperatures (evaporation), population growth, and power production increase the rate of draw down combined with cyclical shortages in supply create an almost impossible situation.
 
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Water saving technologies should be mandated....oh Heavens, here come the "freedom fighters".
Water heavy landscaping should not be allowed. There's not enough water for it obviously.
They already exist and it's getting stricter but it's only going to delay the inevitable unless alternate water sources are found.
 

Jackson_Slugger

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I read one of the sets of remains were found in a barrel and probably were murdered in the 1970's or 80's.... :(

Edit: Just saw Overkill mentioned this...
goodfellas-1990-warner-bros-film-with-from-left-joe-pesci-ray-liotta-robert-de-niro-2GGW98K.jpg
 

Astro14

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Water saving technologies should be mandated....oh Heavens, here come the "freedom fighters".
Water heavy landscaping should not be allowed. There's not enough water for it obviously.
You’re way, way behind what’s happening. Don’t assume that people there have done nothing to address this.

Water restrictions were in place 20 years ago. Water use/service prices are very high. Tax incentives are in place for retrofitting xeriscaping. Building codes require xeriscaping and low water use appliances in construction and renovation.

The issue is much more complex than “mandate lower water use”. That’s already been done.

Riparian legal arrangements (water use rights) allow more users than there is water, and those legal agreements, and their economic value, are difficult to restructure.

All of this has happened as supply has dropped.

Further, much of the Southwest is “mining” water. It comes from aquifers, not surface water like the Colorado River. Aquifer use isn’t easy to regulate as anyone can dig a well. Municipalities continue to sink deeper and deeper wells as the use exceeds the aquifer refresh rate, which is a function of the permeability of the rock, and the amount of water at the source.
 
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Maybe most people in California will move to the Southeast and change the area.

😐
It's not all that better here.

Remember the drought which impacted Lake Lanier and the tri-state (GA, AL, FL) legal battle over water?

Remember when the Gov of Ga claimed that the equipment used to survey the northern border resulted in an error and the actual border would move north just a mile or so. The movement north would encompass a section of the Tennessee river? The state was going to pipe water to metro Atlanta.
 
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2 things this country needs to start building and investing in. (And should have started years ago). Nuclear power, and desalination water plants.

Between just 2 plants, (Tampa Bay, Florida and Carlsbad, California), they desalinate over 75,000,000 gallons of drinking water a day.
 
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