Opinion: Nevada may soon lose the largest US reservoir

Toni Koraza

Photo by RawPixel

Lake Mead's shoreline has receded hundreds of feet in the past two decades. Now, the prolonged drought in the western states threatens to convert lake mead into a dead pool, soon riding it off any water altogether.

One of the favorite July 4th destinations for anyone living or visiting Las Vegas has been deserted. Only one ramp can get a boat into the remains of a once-great reservoir.

"We used to have more. So everyone's fighting to use one ramp... and still trying to figure out how to get along," said Dailey. "It's kind of sad what's going on. But we still come out and try to enjoy it when we can."

Lake Mead was one of the top spots for the July 4th celebrations. So it will be a sad sight when a hundred thousand visitors flock to the has-been lake in the future.

Let's talk about Lake Mead

Located at the borders of Nevada and Arizona, Lake Mead is the biggest reservoir in the United States. It's an artificial lake that came out of the construction of the Hoover Dam at the onset of the Great Depression.

Today, the great lake is only 1/4 full. That means that the majority of the water has evaporated from the area.

The National Park Service (NPS) is doing its best to keep the lake open. The agency has spent over $40 since 2010 trying to preserve access to the lake.

Lake Mead could disappear soon

Enter Climate Change.

"Declining water levels due to climate change and 20 years of ongoing drought have reshaped the park's shorelines," the NPS shares on its website.

"As Lake Mead continues to recede, extending launch ramps becomes more difficult and more expensive due to the topography and projected decline in water levels."

NPS has to invest $2-$3 million to move and adjust the ramp every time the water level falls by another four feet.

At this rate, we'll soon end up without money and the lake.

And while coastal states worry about rising water levels, western-US deals with the opposite problem. Lack of water is ruining the largest US reservoir and a favorite July-4th destination.

Are you worried about the effects of climate change?

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