Las Vegas Is More "Screwed"; Drought Drains Lake Mead To Lowest Since Hoover Dam Built

Tyler Durden's picture

Two weeks ago we highlighted just how "screwed" Las Vegas is due to the catastrophic drought that is occurring (combined with almost total ignorance that this is a problem). As Bloomberg's James Nash reports, about 55% of Nevada, already the nation’s driest state, is under “extreme’’ or “exceptional’’ drought conditions, the worst grades on the U.S. Drought Monitor; but recently the situation has got even worse. Lake Mead, the man-made reservoir that supplies 90 percent of the water for 2 million people in the Las Vegas area, has been reduced by drought to the lowest level since it was filled in 1937, according to the federal government who explained "It concerns us all very much," as it is a resource used by 3 states. Simply put, The shortfall is endangering water supplies to the residents and 43 million annual visitors to the driest metropolitan area in the country.



We discussed in detail just how dire the water situation is in Las Vegas here, but as Bloomberg reports, things are deteriorating fast...

Lake Mead, the man-made reservoir that supplies 90 percent of the water for 2 million people in the Las Vegas area, has been reduced by drought to the lowest level since it was filled in 1937, according to the federal government.


The lake, now at 39 percent of capacity, has been dropping since 2012, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data, as much of the western U.S. has suffered the most serious drought in decades. The shortfall is endangering water supplies to the residents and 43 million annual visitors to the driest metropolitan area in the country.


Lake Mead, created by the Hoover Dam in 1936 and 1937, holds mountain snowmelt from the Colorado River for farms, homes and businesses predominately in southern Nevada, southern California and most of Arizona. No metropolitan area depends on the lake more than Las Vegas, which lacks groundwater or other local sources.


“This is significant because it’s a resource used by three states,’’ said Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the bureau. “We all have to keep an eye on it because it’s the major water source for three areas. It concerns us all very much.’’


The lake’s surface, which reached a record high of 1,225 feet above sea level in July 1983, is now at about 1,083 feet, according to the bureau. If the level drops below 1,050 feet, one of the two intakes that feed water to Las Vegas will become inoperable. At 50 feet lower, the other would fail. Since 2008, contractors have been boring through rock to create a third conduit to draw water from as low as 860 feet.


About 55 percent of Nevada, already the nation’s driest state, is under “extreme’’ or “exceptional’’ drought conditions, the worst grades on the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website. Portions of California, New Mexico and Colorado also are in the “exceptional’’ category, according to the monitor.


Nevadans have cut back on water use since the magnitude of the drought became clear, according to data from the Southern Nevada Water Authority.


The region reduced daily usage 4.6 percent per person, to 124 gallons in 2013, from 130 gallons in 2012, authority spokeswoman Nicole Lise said by e-mail. In Los Angeles, personal consumption in 2013 was 129 gallons, according to the Department of Water and Power.

*  *  *

As we concluded 2 weeks ago, the bottom line - get there now, watch the fountains, drink the water, swim in the lake... (and sell your house)

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StacksOnStacks's picture

I was just out there with the family over the weekend... It's looking pretty sad.  They only had 3 out of 8 turbines on the Nevada side running, who knows if any are on the otherside.

flacon's picture

The next "great depression" will be blamed on the drought like the last one was. They will teach it to your children and grandchildren. "It was 'climate' change that brought the great USA to it's knees".

Charles Wilson's picture

But...But...Free water is a HUMAN RIGHT.  That's what they told us in Detroit last week.

Oh, wait...

J S Bach's picture

Imagine that...

You live in a freakin' desert and there's a drought.  I don't think you need to have been a scientist to predict that this would eventually happen.  I know the initial source is the mountains of Colorado, but the other (not unsubstantial) tributaries come from low rainfall states as well. 


Just like Vegas' creed... the law of probability will eventually catch up with you - win or lose.

barre-de-rire's picture

why the fuck they built vegas  where it is...

ndotken's picture

when are people gonna learn ... you don't fuck with Mother Nature

benb's picture

Good call. The drought is being created through weather modification by the Federal Gov i.e. The Corporate Fascist Entity. The guy in the YouTube Video, Dane Wiggington, has a ranch about 20 miles south of me. He and a group of experts are giving a presentation on the induced drought to the County Commissioners here in Siskiyou (Northernmost CA)  this coming Tuesday. This weather nightmare is part of Agenda 21.

As I have said all along - It's all Theater. It's all rigged. The markets, the government, your television, the food, medicine, the public schools, and now the weather.

For those Little Bo-Peeps out there that have yet to wake up... do so soon.

Yes_Questions's picture



Wiggington is so fitting a name given the level of alarm with which he presents his stuff.


His "sky is falling" way of speaking on this topic probably deters folks away, which is a shame because where I live, the jet-trails regulary criss-cross the blue sky into a haze.  


what in the world are they spraying, indeed.

benb's picture

Alarming way of speaking? The Geo-engineering/aerosol spraying is part of a global eugenics/extermination program. Those of us that haven’t already been psychologically neutralized better damn well sound the alarm. I have known for a decade, long before came on the scene this is the case. Sad to say most comments on this thread are being posted from inside the Propaganda Matrix.

cifo's picture

You assume that "they" are smart and "they" have control.

I doubt both.

benb's picture

“They” referring to the Ruling Oligarchy certainly have major control of the puppet US Government. ‘They’ have their CIA lackeys in all key positions. For your edification -  

Transcribed from a Dr. Stan Montieth, retired orthopedic surgeon and host of Radio Liberty, interview given on 11/14/10 –

 “What is taking place in America is not happening by accident. There is an organized intentional effort to destroy the economy of our country. Now how can I make the statement? I read the plan. Where can you get the plan, It’s called the Earth Charter. It was written by Steven Rockefeller who is the nephew of David Rockefeller. And if you honestly believe that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are the two wealthiest people in the United States why you have been reading Time Magazine too long. The real power belongs to the Rockefeller family they’ve been around for almost a hundred years. And basically the Rockefellers dominate Chase Manhattan Bank. David was the president of Chase Manhattan for many years. Now it’s J.P. Morgan Chase, they control CitiGroup, they control the major pharmaceutical companies, they control Exxon and Chevron. They control our major corporations and of course David Rockefeller’s Tri-Lateral Commission controls our government. How can I make that statement? Well you go back and read Barry Goldwater’s ---- With No Apologies…and on page 280 of that book Barry Goldwater says- You know the Council On Foreign Relations is domestic but the Tri-Lateral Commission is international. Their goal is to take over financial and commercial interests of the world by first seizing control of the government of the United States.(Barry Goldwater 1979)  What have they done since then? Well the North American chapter of the Tri-Lateral Commission which was birthed by the Council on Foreign Relations in 1973. (And the Council on Foreign relations is a front for a secret society created by Cecil Rhodes back in 1891 dedicated to taking overt control of the world.) Cecil Rhodes wanted England to control the world and to bring America along. The plan changed after the First World War where America would take over the world and bring Great Britain along. You can find this documented in a book called Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World In Our Time written by Professor Carol Quigley, a leading historian of the twentieth century. An historian who actually discovered the secret society that controls the world today. How do I know? Because I went back to Georgetown University in 1980, I went through Professor Quigley’s papers before they were censored and I found all of his correspondence with Sir Alfred Zimmern who was a member of this secret society and who told Professor Quigley all about this secret society and who was in it. And then of course in 1921 why, this secret society which had a front group called the ‘Round Table’  created the Council on Foreign Relations which then birthed the Bilderburger Group and then birthed the Tri-Lateral Commission in 1973. Of course at that time the chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations was David Rockefeller. David Rockefeller financed the Tri-lateral Commission and is the honorary chairman of the North American Chapter today. Now between 1977 and 2008 why every president and/or vice-president of the United States came from the membership roles of the Tri-Lateral Commission. Actually, six of the eight presidents of the World Bank; Eight of the ten American representatives to the World Trade Organization; Seven of the Twelve Secretaries of State and nine of the twelve secretaries of Defense all came from the membership roles of this North American Chapter of the Tri-Lateral Commission. And today twelve of these people surround Barrak Obama.

Don’t let them dissuade you. They point to Barack Obama –you know he’s a socialist. He’s a Muslim. He’s a communist. He was born in Kenya, he doesn’t have a right to be president…They are playing games with your mind. The important issue is that Barak Obama does what he is told. He is controlled by the Tri-Lateral commission. In fact General James Jones, a four Star Marine General who heads the National Security Council in a speech in February of this year (2010) at a Munich Security Conference talked about the chain of command in the National security Council   (Now remember the head of the National Security Council, General James Jones meets with Barak Obama every day and tells him what to do.) And General James Jones said we have a chain of command in the National Security Council through Brent Scowcroft and Sandy Berger and we get our orders from Henry Kissinger every daywell people don’t understand we have a one party system with two branches and it’s all political theater.”


UselessEater's picture

Plus what Teethvillage88s posted in an earlier article:

Bechtel Bought up the Water Rights in Bolivia, they even told people they had to buy the rain water for the most part. They must have started with a water project for some city. They raised the cost of water and started a revolution.

Nestle' is taking water out of one of the Great Lakes for Free. I guess it is considered like mining or drilling. Suez is one of the world biggest water companies.(French) (French)

The privatize Water Systems as a way to fix city water, but then if they can't raise the costs and the water bill rates, they can always abandon the project and leave the city with huge problems. Privatization of Water (Water Privatization)

Also another ZHr gave this great link:

Dr. Dugegan reveals not just "WHAT" is intended for America and all people in the world, but "HOW" the controllers intend to carry out their plan.


benb's picture

Yes. A really horrible plan is being methodically executed... Too nasty for many to contemplate. Time to stand up. To speak out.

The Bushs own a 50,000 acre ranch in Paraguay supposedly sitting on the biggest aquifer in northern S. America. Having access to that CIA satellite data comes in handy if you're a greedy monster. T.Boone Pickens is said to have control/rights of a huge aquifer spanning from northern Texas to Oklahoma.

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see where this is going.

UselessEater's picture

That ranch has multiple purposes.(Where's Kenny?)

The US embassy in the capital of Paraguay is something to behold - a walled mini vatican... now I wonder what the private US MIC is upto? (I've never seen such an embassy anywhere!!)

Please get very defensive about water peeps. The lunatics have control lets not consider their actions by our personal standards of sanity.

benb's picture

Yeah, Ken Lay's death was staged as well (Massive heart attack just before he had to report to the pen... riiiiiight). There were reports of Kenny-boy being seen on the The Bush's NAZI Ranch years later..

g speed's picture

margin for the developers--same as anywhere--buy the cheapest shit (dollar/acre )you can then madison ave it to a cracker box on a half lot for a quarter mil +---fuck a hollywood, madison ave, fashion, cheap toys, porno, gov't sponsored, pharmaceutical hazed, oil based, hedonistic, narcissistic, money centric life style that is Vegas----    

TheRedScourge's picture

You forgot the part where you then beg the government to shell out billions to build you a fucking lake afterwards, so you get all the advantages of buying all that cheap land (like making a massive profit), while suffering none of the drawbacks (like shelling out billions to make that land not be totally worthless).

Antifaschistische's picture

Am I missing something?

"Since 2008, contractors have been boring through rock to create a third conduit to draw water from as low as 860 feet."

Let me see if I understand this correctly.

In the event of a severe unprecidented drought situation...rather than taking hyper extreme conservation measures, Las Vegas is making sure they can still drain Lake Mead even further...or, until there is no water at all....buying themselves another two years of fantasy.

knukles's picture

No, you're seeing it all, clearly.
Digging holes and ditches creates jobs for the local economy, which means people buy houses, water their lawns, take showers, fill pools....
What could be better?


Yes_Questions's picture



yup, though I suspect the electrical generation was really the big selling point back when the facility was conceived, 80 some odd years later they'll die of thirst with no AC.


forward, to oblivion and this may be where "history" pegs the the start of all this.  Once the oblivion part washes away, that is.

Monty Burns's picture

I agree it's not a permanent solution but if they take out at 850 feet the supply will last very many years even with minimal rainfall.

patb's picture

not really,


these are valleys they get smaller as they get lower

Frankie Carbone's picture

A drought in Nevada. Whudda thunk?

0b1knob's picture

Some background:


Money quote:

"Actually, the situation is not as bad as it looks: water will be released from Lake Powell to ensure Lake Mead stays above 1,075ft. But in the longer term, Lake Powell will drain away as well."

Why is Zero Hedge constantly going on about phony problems like Las Vegas water shortage (and peak oil and global warming) that are just recycled MSM crap?

J S Bach's picture

Very true, ob1... but it's still an issue that won't go away with the over-indulgent use of water in the Vegas region.

Maybe hotel room fees will go up 50% just to pay the water bills.

They'll still get suckers to go for it.

CCanuck's picture

Ya, but just the rich suckers.

rwe2late's picture


I do not think having a temporary fix by using Lake Powell (which will also "drain away")

substantiates your allegations that the Las Vegas water problem is "phony",

nor that "Zero Hedge [is] constantly going on about phony problems like Las Vegas water shortage".

Overfed's picture

I think a bunch of folks have broken sarc detectors.

starman's picture

Max? are you saying hes dead or alive?

knukles's picture

Before that can be answered we have to figure out if he's still in the box.
No peeking!
Any guesses?

Nah, I'm Uncertain

maniacal laughter

RafterManFMJ's picture

There is no problem that more illegal Mexicans cannot cure.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Absolutely. A boom to the economy. I've been doing more scabies and std testing. Soon the TB lab will be on fire!

Too bad none of it is billable.


RmcAZ's picture

Good point, I wonder how low the water has to get before it really starts affecting power production and grid availability.

knukles's picture

Damn right.  He invented global warming.

drendebe10's picture

Well, the Las Vegans need to just turn to their fossilized, beady eyed, weasle faced senator... he's so smart I'm sure he'll bail them out of this jam.....   after all he recently said there were five (5!!!) white men on the Supreme Court....

Occams_Chainsaw's picture

Reid is an ugly bag of mostly water.  Just pop him and Mead will refill.

Chandos's picture

Hubris and funny money does not trump Nature and basic logic..


Full disclosure:I am long Hopis and Navajos

NoDebt's picture

Tylers calling the bottom again.


DaddyO's picture

Unfortunately, the Tylers are way late on this story.

It has been reported in different outlets for at least 3 days.

Tyler, why are you trying to emmulate other outlets when you were great without this type of reporting.

Do you want to be ZeroHuffpo?


jbvtme's picture

you're both late. "cadillac desert" was written in 1986

fonzannoon's picture

they may be late, but they are early. Talk to me when the fountains shut off. Then I will be interested. Show me a bunch of drunk assholes at the Hard Rock screaming "I need water, i'm fucking hung over!!" and I will perk up to this.

Poundsand's picture

True that.  Can't the CB's just print some more H2O?  If they can't print it, surely they can just buy it and ship it in.  I'm sure Harry Reid & co. are already drafting the bill for you and I to pick up the tap at some distant time in the future.