Wednesday August 30, 2023

8 News Now

For Las Vegas, water is life.

After years living with a lingering sense of doom, residents have taken some pleasure in seeing Lake Mead fill up a little bit on the strength of a record snowpack for the Colorado River. The fact remains that it’s only a third full, but it’s a big improvement over last year. In fact, the lake is 23 feet higher today than its low point in July of 2022.

With every inch Lake Mead rises, 2 billion gallons are added. It’s a simple number to remember in all the news about how the lake level changes. 1 inch = 2 billion gallons.

Over the past seven days (Aug. 20-27), the lake has gained about 13 and a half inches — 27 billion gallons. The increase at Lake Mead is because releases from Glen Canyon Dam — 280 miles upstream on the river — have been increased. While Hoover Dam is releasing water at 7,712 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the past week, it has been getting water released from Glen Canyon Dam (Lake Powell) at 12,635 cfs. That’s why the level has been going up at Lake Mead.

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