Lake Mead Water Level Drops to “Inactive Pool Status”
By Mark Schwendau
At approximately 2:00 p.m. yesterday June 22nd Lake Mead’s water level dropped to a historic point. The point where the electric generators of the Hoover Dam might become inactive. This is the first time this has happened in the history of the Hoover Dam since its completion in May of 1935. The dam was named after President Herbert Hoover.
Hoover Dam spans the Arizona-Nevada state line of the Colorado River flowing into Lake Mead, a man-made lake created by the Hoover Dam in the Black Canyon. It is about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is said to be the most-visited dam in the world having some 7 million tourists a year. The dam harnesses the hydroelectric power of the Colorado River which runs southwest more than 1,400 miles to the Gulf of California. That river flows through parts of seven states; Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, and then continues down into Mexico.
Lake Mead is now a record 185 feet below “full pool”. On Wednesday, June 22nd, the lake fell to an elevation above sea level of 1,043 feet. The experts have said that if Lake Mead ever fell below 1,050 feet, the electric generators of the Hoover Dam would become inoperable.
The dam generates about 4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year for use in the states of Nevada, Arizona, and California. It has been said that about 36% of all power used in Las Vegas is generated by the Hoover dam. When it was constructed in the mid-30s, the Hoover Dam was said to be the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world and it remains one of the largest yet today.
The dam contains 17 hydroelectric turbines that spin electric generators as water flows through them as it is released through the dam to continue from Lake Mead down the Colorado River. Nevada uses nearly 25% of this electricity while Arizona uses almost 20% with southern California using much of the rest.
A normal operating level for Lake Mead and Hoover dam is defined as 1,221 feet so people looking at just the math may not think this is such a big deal but what they often don’t realize is the lake is constructed as a “V” bottom meaning the lower it gets, the faster the water level drops. Experts are now saying the lake water level appears to be dropping about 8 inches a day which will now begin to accelerate due to the profile shape of the lake. If the lake level gets down to a level of just 895 feet above sea level in elevation, Lake Mead is declared a “dead pool” meaning the dam will be closed and the Colorado River below the dam will dry up and the lake becomes stagnant.
A YouTube channel titled Sin City Outdoors has been doing a progress report on the status of Lake Mead which has been most interesting and entertaining.
“STRANDED!!! Lake Mead’s Water Dropped Too Fast!!!” – June 22, 2022
This video on this channel received over 1 million views in a span of 24 hours! Americans are concerned about the drought going on in the American southwest.
Hoover Dam has 4 turbine-generating towers, 2 on the Nevada side and 2 on the Arizona side. These towers are some 20 stories tall and now sit mostly out of the water.
For those who might be curious, the Hoover Dam measures 1,244 feet in length, 726.4 feet in height, and is some 45 feet wide at the top.
Potentially more serious than the level of Lake Mead dropping to generate electricity is the fact that is also used to provide drinking water for much of the desert southwest. In April of this year, a water intake for Las Vegas was exposed on the surface of Lake Mead. Lake Mead and Lake Powell upstream are part of a man-made system that provides water to more than 40 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and across the southern border in Mexico. Besides human consumption, some of this water has been used for agriculture in these states.
It is not known if the hydroelectric turbines of Hoover dam are still turning to generate any electricity but last month in May officials reported electric generation was down 33% from normal. One can assume the experts who operate the dam are working their jobs on an hour-by-hour basis as they navigate this historic situation.
The drought in the southwest has been categorized as a “megadrought”. It has been said this episode began in the year 2000.
Several interesting aspects come up in this story. Secular people living in this world are quick to attribute this event to “climate change”. People of faith are quick to attribute this phenomenon as a sign from God, after all, it is “Sin City” that is being impacted.
To me, what is more, important is how hydroelectric power has been overlooked and/or neglected by all those touting renewable green energy in the form of climate activists and politicians alike. Hydroelectric power is much more efficient than both wind and solar in hundreds of examples all around the world and yet it gets very little mention or discussion.
As Germany reactivates its mothballed coal-fired electric generating plants in the absence of Russian natural gas and as Lake Mead sinks to new lows, it is important for all of us to understand something pretty simple and basic; When it comes to energy generation, we always need to have a “Plan B”.
As for me, I will be praying this situation is resolved by the Big Guy in the sky in the form of some rains from Heaven. This is one news story that is not getting the attention it deserves and it should concern every American not just for the local humanity impacted by the dam but for our nation’s food supply.
Hoover Dam at Risk
Mark S. Schwendau is a retired technology professor who has always had a sideline in news editorial writing where his byline has been, “Bringing little known news to people who simply want to know the truth.” He classifies himself as a Christian conservative who God cast to be a realist. Mark is an award-winning educator who has published 7 books and numerous peer-reviewed trade journal articles some of which can be found on the Internet. His father was a fireman/paramedic while his mother was a registered nurse. He holds multiple degrees in technology education, industrial management, OSHA Safety, and Driver’s Education. His personal website is www.IDrawIWrite.Tech.