Thursday May 30, 2024


Lake Mead’s five-year outlook is slightly better after two wet winters, according to projections released May 29 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The five-year projections, released three times a year, account for a vast range of scenarios that could result in different cuts in water use depending on how low reservoirs actually go. However, they come with a wide margin of error, providing little clarity on what’s actually to come.

They’re also much more uncertain as 2007 Colorado River interim guidelines are set to expire in 2026 and two groups of Colorado River states squabble over how to address the water scarcity crisis, including how reservoir releases operate.

But the bottom line is that there’s now a zero percent chance that Lake Mead will fall below 1,000 feet before 2028. That’s down from a 3% chance in January’s projection. While that might not seem like much, it does signal that snowpack may have bettered Lake Mead’s prospects in general.

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