Lowering Lake Levels

Painting of a marina.

Lowering water levels have had significant and adverse impacts on the National Park Service and concession facilities at Lake Mead. Most of the infrastructure in the Park was designed to operate optimally at lake levels between 1,180’ and 1,220’, levels typically seen in the past 30 years. As the lake has dropped below these levels, the National Park Service and concessioners have spent millions of dollars extending launch ramps and moving marinas to chase the declining water. Unfortunately, some facilities have been forced to close.

With continuing fluctuations in water levels expected due to ongoing drought and greater demand for water from the Colorado River, additional recreational facilities may have to be moved or closed. Further drops in lake level will cost millions of dollars in additional construction and could result in loss of recreational opportunities and economic benefit to the local communities if lake access is not maintained.


Lake Levels Over Time

Lake Mead’s water levels fluctuate over time, but the water line has recently plunged to an unprecedented level, threatening the valley’s water supply.

Graphic Source: Las Vegas Sun


Last updated: December 13, 2022

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