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Las Vegas Will Go Dry If Water Levels Drop 7% Further - Lake Mead Hits Record Lows

Tyler Durden's picture


Six weeks ago we highlighted how "screwed" Las Vegas is as the ongoing 14-year drought weighs on water levels. Today, AP reports, Lake Mead - the main source of fresh water for Las Vegas and its 40 million visitors - just hit record low levels at 1080 feet. Most concerning - at 1,000 feet, drinking water intakes will no longer function and Las Vegas will go dry. As analysts concluded previously, "unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere, Las Vegas is out of business. Yet they’re still building, which is stupid."



As AP reports,

Once-teeming Lake Mead marinas are idle as a 14-year drought steadily drops water levels to historic lows. Officials from nearby Las Vegas are pushing conservation, but are also drilling a new pipeline to keep drawing water from the lake.


Hundreds of miles away, farmers who receive water from the lake behind Hoover Dam are preparing for the worst.




The lake has dropped to 1,080 feet above sea level this year - down almost the width of a football field from a high of 1,225 feet in 1983.


A projected level of 1,075 feet in January 2016 would trigger cuts in water deliveries to Arizona and Nevada.



At 1,000 feet, drinking water intakes would go dry to Las Vegas, a city of 2 million residents and a destination for 40 million tourists per year that is almost completely dependent on the reservoir.




Bagnall, who owns Morningstar Farms in Coolidge, Arizona, worries about the future of farming in the region. Tighter supplies mean there will be less farming and fewer dollars going to agricultural services like fertilizer suppliers.


"Eventually," he said, "the prices are going to hit the consumer. Sooner or later, it's got to go up. So it's just a domino effect."

As we concluded previously,


One proposal is for landlocked Nevada to pay billions of dollars to build solar-powered desalination plants in the Pacific off Mexico, taking Mexico’s share of Colorado River water in exchange.


But Mr Mrowka said: “The Colorado is essentially a dying river. Ultimately, Las Vegas and our civilisation in the American South West is going to disappear, like the Indians did before us.”

*  *  *
The bottom line - get there now, watch the fountains, drink the water, swim in the lake... (and sell your house)

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Tue, 08/12/2014 - 16:48 | 5083787 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

But I heard they are drilling a new outlet tunnel into the bottom of the lake. Should be done in -- what -- couple years? So it's all gonna be just fine.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 16:58 | 5083844 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

Ya, to drain it to 0 feet a few years after completion.  That will solve the problem.


Tue, 08/12/2014 - 17:02 | 5083875 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Tuffy Toenails Las Vegas. Are cisterns legal there?

Detroit got 4.5 inches of rain and Dearborn 6 inches yesterday. Wasn't enough to wash it clean, though.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 17:48 | 5084161 Stackers
Stackers's picture

Raise your hand if you thought it was ever a good idea to "farm" some of the hottest dryest land on the planet ?

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 18:13 | 5084268 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I always love the red "back to this point in time" arrows used on ZH graphics.  Wasn't that the year after they finished construction on the Hoover Dam?  (i.e. they were probably still in process of filling Lake Mead to capacity for the first time)

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 18:20 | 5084304 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

But Mr Mrowka said: “The Colorado is essentially a dying river. Ultimately, Las Vegas and our civilisation in the American South West is going to disappear, like the Indians did before us.”

Oh BS!! Yes, we are in a drought and Vegas is in trouble in the short term. The rains will return. Maybe the overreactive hippie evirons will not return. 

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 18:22 | 5084313 max2205
max2205's picture

This was posted a couple of weeks ago..... W t f

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:07 | 5084499 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

This is not so bad as to think because Nevada is still suitable for strip and flash.

Of course, without water, this is strip mining and nuclear testing, but in USSA MIC, this is big business, no!? Is add greatly for astonishing GDP!

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:35 | 5084585 Latina Lover
Latina Lover's picture

If the water disappears, look at the positive side. Las Vegas will become the premier  film prop for a post zombie apocalypse America, complete with desert,  nuclear radiation, mentally deficient humans and huge monuments to human hubris and stupidity.


Even better 5000 years from now, when civilization re emerges, gray haired high domed academics will write impenetrable tomes  on the religious significane of Las Vegas.  For, why else would ancient humans recklessly expend huges amounts of resources and energy, ultimately destroying their civilizationfor the sake of their great God Mon-Ey, and the FEDREV priesthood.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:03 | 5084731 Keyser
Keyser's picture

Film prop my ass, it's going to be the real thing... 

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:27 | 5084844 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

Move Las Vegas to Detroit.  Its exactly what is needed to rescue the city.  LasVegas has all the water it wants, and Detroit keeps on living.  Win win.  Plus we get to drain the Canucks of any money they have.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:33 | 5084866 Elvis the Pelvis
Elvis the Pelvis's picture

Global warming and Ebola will kill us all.  And if they don't get you, some Muslim with a sword will cut off your head.  Bitchez.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 21:00 | 5085008 Chief KnocAHoma
Chief KnocAHoma's picture

What are the odds on Vegas running dry?
What happens in Vegas will surely stay in Vegas now!

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 01:51 | 5085947 Four chan
Four chan's picture

i think vegas should build another giant fountain to commemorate the water that was once there.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:54 | 5087797 screw face
screw face's picture


Wed, 08/13/2014 - 00:22 | 5085756 markpower49
markpower49's picture

Still too many blacks there.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 09:53 | 5086825 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Hear, hear - I blame those assholes who brought them over on ships

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:32 | 5084865 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

@Latina Lover: If the water disappears, look at the positive side. Las Vegas will become the premier  film prop for a post zombie apocalypse America, complete with desert,  nuclear radiation, mentally deficient humans and huge monuments to human hubris and stupidity.

Vegas already is all of the above; they just still happen to have water...for now.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 23:08 | 5085548 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Simple math... it's only dropping 5 feet a year.  So Vegas is in trouble in 16 years.  Not so scary now is it?

Way before then the pipe will be lowered to less than the 1000 foot level.  Never.  A.  Problem.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 23:59 | 5085706 PhilofOz
PhilofOz's picture

Not so.... as the lake drops, so does the surface area, therefore when the surface area is half what it was in the past it will drop twice as quickly as back then. That complicates the maths a little bit.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 01:51 | 5085949 Four chan
Four chan's picture

exponential math seems to be effecting quite a few things going on in the world.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 02:36 | 5085995 California Nigh...
California Nightmares's picture

Yeah, many Americans are stumped by simple algebra. Forget about fancy math,

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 00:28 | 5085769 Abbie Normal
Abbie Normal's picture

Except the lake is shaped more like a funnel than a cylinder so the lower it goes, the faster it goes.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 11:24 | 5087338 magnumpk
magnumpk's picture

I just looked up the monthly chart. YTD it has dropped an average of 4 feet per month. Of course, that's just one snapshot of time, but since it's the most recent, maybe it's more relevant? I'm no expert, but just a thought. http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/mead-elv.html

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:08 | 5084758 HedgeHammer
HedgeHammer's picture

More like the back drop for the up and comingremake of "Road Warrior"

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 02:28 | 5085983 California Nigh...
California Nightmares's picture

Las Vegas as microcosm of the world:  the world is running out of cheap oil and yet, more cars are being sold, more roads are being built, more infrastructure, more people....

Even if we stopped adding shit now, we wouldn't be able to maintain what we already have. 

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:43 | 5084919 photonsoflight
photonsoflight's picture

I've noticed lately quite a few sites are regurgitating old stories. I don't know what the deal is, perhaps summer vacations?

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 18:28 | 5084341 RiderOnTheStorm
RiderOnTheStorm's picture

Hey this might be a good time to give all that dry land and the casinos back to the indians and let them worry about the water level

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 18:38 | 5084381 IReallyDontCare
IReallyDontCare's picture

Just print more clouds, whats the big deal?

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 18:43 | 5084400 29.5
29.5's picture

all i want to know is how much gold is resting on the bottom of the lake

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:09 | 5084505 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

You are know of boating "accident"...?

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:18 | 5084542 youngman
youngman's picture

Its probably a good hunting ground for stuff..I have three pairs of nice sunglasses there somewhere......

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:01 | 5084712 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Why not open the doors to the Israelis. Las Vegas has two things the Jews seem to love, money and deserts. They can live in Las Vegas and the Palestinians can have their land back. 

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 01:19 | 5085875 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is not Jew, but is also love money and fine pastry!

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:42 | 5084640 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture

....and how many cement blocks with mobster skeletons attached? 

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 01:09 | 5085857 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Yup. They took Toni out of the trunk, fitted him with a custom pair of cement shoes, and he's sleepin with de fishies for eternity. ;-)

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:44 | 5084922 photonsoflight
photonsoflight's picture

Probably quite a few gold teeth too, as well as a few bodies.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 02:39 | 5085998 California Nigh...
California Nightmares's picture

Maybe a few mystifying big concrete blocks, too.  

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:06 | 5084496 Keyser
Keyser's picture

Tell that to the drought cycle that drives the pacific sw on North America... 


Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:55 | 5084687 RobD
RobD's picture

Hmmm, was at the Monterrey Bay aquarium a couple of weeks ago and they were complaining about how worm the water was they were bringing into the kelp tank from the bay. Said it was so worm that the kelp was not doing very well.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:06 | 5084747 Keyser
Keyser's picture

Bingo, we are killing the oceans... Once we lose the oceans, the rest of us are dead as it's only a matter of time... 


Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:36 | 5084614 Latina Lover
Latina Lover's picture

Vampy, you know they call it desert for a reason.....

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 19:46 | 5084656 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture

Lucky Luciano's Revenge.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:42 | 5084905 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

In late August, when it is quite dry, especially in the Southwestern United States, Native American tribes used to do a rain dance. Many Native Americans still perform the ritual today, and it can be seen on several reservations in the United States. Men and women gathered together for a rain dance and wore special headdresses and clothing. The jewels used in the clothing, such as turquoise, had special significance, as well as the patterns on the clothing and the use of goat hair in the headdresses. These special clothes were worn every year for the rain dance, and usually were stored the entire year (or 14 years) for this purpose.

Start dancin' Kemosababies!!


Tue, 08/12/2014 - 21:53 | 5085265 metaStable
metaStable's picture

It might have helped if there were a few more indians (non tech-support kind) around to do the dance. Too bad they all had to be "displaced." Reap what was sowed.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:53 | 5084971 Landrew
Landrew's picture

But then again you are probably ignorant, one day without water might as well be forever. Las Vegas would be Detroit just that fast.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:10 | 5086929 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

A barge full of Mexicans, scaffolding and a bucket brigade are all that's needed to hoist water up and dump it into the inlet.

This will get them through until the new tunnel is completed.

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 03:21 | 5086046 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

or decorate that land with the fucking greenest golf courses on the planet

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 20:18 | 5084800 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Detroit got 4.5 inches of rain and Dearborn 6 inches yesterday. Wasn't enough to wash it clean, though. - Anusocracy

Once they finish gentrifying and stealing the land TPTB will make Detroit a water hub for the nation.

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 17:03 | 5083883 camaro68ss
camaro68ss's picture

Just build more faucets, duh

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