Lake Mead Water Level Mysteriously Plunges After Nevada Quake

Tyler Durden's picture

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake (originally reported 5.4) shook Las Vegas and surrounding areas Friday morning causing roads and bridges to be closed. The quake went little-reported outside of local news (since there was at first glance minimum damage caused) but, since the quake's occurrence, something considerably more worrisome has occurred.

In the 36 hours since the quake's occurrence, water levels at Lake Mead have plunged precipitously. While we know correlation is not causation, the 'coincidence' of an extreme loss in water levels occurring in the aftermath of one of the largest quakes in recent Vegas history does raise a suspicious eyebrow - especially when there has been no official word on the precipitous decline.

The earthquake hit mid-morning on Friday:

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook Las Vegas and surrounding areas Friday morning, forcing loose a rubber casing on a bridge and leading state officials to close Spaghetti Bowl interchanges for several hours.


After the Nevada Department of Transportation inspected bridges for possible structural damage, they deemed the roads safe for travel and reopened them just before 5 p.m. Traffic had backed up for miles during the closures, which came at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.


The quake, which hit at 11:47 a.m., was centered about 23 miles south-southwest of Caliente, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The magnitude was originally reported as 5.4, but the official number was lowered twice Friday.


The ramp from southbound U.S. Highway 95 to southbound Interstate 15 was closed about 12:20 p.m. Friday, officials said.


“The joint damage was pre-existing. The tremblor simply dislodged the protective rubber encasing the bridge seam making it look much worse than it was in reality” and prompting an immediate shutdown of the ramps, NDOT engineer Mary Martini said in a news release about 3:45 p.m.

Since then, official water level data shows an incredible 8 foot plunge in water levels since the earthquake.

considering the (average drop in the last 10 years is 1 inch, this is a troubling outlier.

Source: Lake Mead Water Database,  h/t Professor Doom and Quasar

There is , of course, a possibility that the drop is the result of broken sensors and we will be following up during the week to see if levels normalize.

This is crucial since, as we noted previously,

If the water level drops below 1,075 feet elevation by January 1, 2016, it will trigger a federal water emergency. And water rationing.


Las Vegas Review Journal reported that forecasters expect the level to drop to 1073 feet by June, before Lake Powell would begin to release more water. Assuming “average or better snow accumulations in the mountains that feed the Colorado River – something that’s happened only three times in the past 15 years,” the water level on January 1 is expected to be barely above the federal shortage level.


Even with these somewhat rosy assumptions of “average or better than average snow accumulations,” the water level would begin set new lows next April. But if the next winter is anything like the last few, all bets are off.


If the level drops below 1050 feet, one of the two intake pipes for the Las Vegas Valley, which gets 90% of its water that way, will run dry.

As Roman Catholic Imperialist notes, this is quite unprecedented... For a sense of just how bad things are gettiing, the following images will help...





Update: moments ago the Lake Mead National Recreation Area officially denied that the online reading was accurate blaming the water level collapse on inaccurate water levels as of this morning.

Dare we say it: double seasonally-adjusted water levels?

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gmak's picture

Oh noes. Must be Global Warming.

wee-weed up's picture

Maybe if they're lucky...

It will pop back out somewhere in Kalifornica.

Headbanger's picture

Oh shit.

That's it for Vegas.

CA real estate prices implode in 3...2...1...

Looney's picture

Blaming Putin in 3… 2… 1… ;-)


Headbanger's picture

I can see it now..

"Oklahoma or Bust!"

Funny how history has a way of turning around on itself.

max2205's picture

No problem just slap one of those new and improved seasonal Fed adjustments on that puppy and it'll be Okey 

Joe Davola's picture

Okay, so if we take away 1", then 2", then 3", then 4" ... will we eventually add 1/12" to the water level?

Publicus's picture

We are living in the end times.

waterwitch's picture

Don't suppose anybody checked to see if the water-level sensor might have changed position. Hmm?

boogerbently's picture

I'm sorry.....what ?

I was reading about the terrible Texas/Oklahoma FLOODS !

MonetaryApostate's picture

I think the southwest will soon be migrating north & east...

Joe Davola's picture

Time to move the border fences.

giggler321's picture

or you can buy my boat, location is lake Mead.  On the plus side you can drive right over to it and pick it up with your trailer.  Going cheap with the price reflecting the fact it is now hot property as a live-in, stationary caravan.

Hey if you are that way persuaded, it's a good investment for a future Noa's ark project...

Captain Debtcrash's picture
Captain Debtcrash (not verified) giggler321 May 25, 2015 10:39 AM

Water level drop did not happen according to this.

Sounds to me like the quake damaged an automatic sensor.  Sure as the update implies it could be a cover-up, but a drop of 8' would be tough to cover up. 

Don't give conspiracy theories a bad name.

giggler321's picture

See now, all we need is one of the (no doubt many) in-between-jobbers, local, ex-surfer's who used to work the lake to tell us if the puddle has got smaller since the earth wobble.  Eye's on the ground must know?

Tall Tom's picture

Perhaps Hoover Dam also changed position since it is that which creates the


But I know that I should believe our Goobercunt Officiales...




We need to mass immigrate the Dutch. It is going to take one helluva lot of fingers to plug them holes.

zhandax's picture

Surely someone here boats on Lake Mead and has a depth sounder....

TheReplacement's picture

Not sure who this we is unless you live in California or Vegas. 

Skid Marks's picture


Holy Shit!

That looks like my ski boat, the one with all my gold in it.


msmith9962's picture

Well played and excellent boobies.

zeroaccountability's picture
zeroaccountability (not verified) msmith9962 May 24, 2015 9:27 PM

Aren't those Pladizow's old titsZ?

Blano's picture

Pladizow had a sideways shot I believe. 

Still spectacular nonetheless. 

e_goldstein's picture

Salvage laws is salvage laws.

First come, first served.

chiswickcat's picture

That looks like a sweet boat. Very 70's. Might go get her and give her a clean up.

DeadFred's picture

Someone take a camera down to the lake. An eight foot drop would be hard to hide. Until I see a current photo or they bar people from the lake so no one can see the drop it's just flawed data. I don't believe any of .GOVs other numbers so I don't believe this 'drop'

zeroaccountability's picture
zeroaccountability (not verified) DeadFred May 24, 2015 9:30 PM

'Zactly.  Pictures or it didn't happen.  And why would  the gubamint make any official announcement?  Just like the Radiation die-off in the Pacific......don't want to alarm the sheople.

mt paul's picture

maybe Alciada
flew some planes into the lake...

onthesquare's picture

Time to go metric.  That will confuse everybody

1077 feet above sealevel now 1077 * .304 Metres/foot = 327.408 MSL 

Interesting how the chart shows 2 reads on the way down.  If the sensors had failed they should have hit zero and stayed there.  There would not have been 2 reads on the line down.  This rapid decay of the measurement is mysterious.

Macon Richardson's picture

Oklahoma is suffering it's own present-day dust bowl. There's no place to run to.

Freddie's picture

There is always Portland, Oregon.  Plenty of water, pot and a great rave and techno scene.

dark_matter's picture

I live in Portland. It's really awful here and I'm sure you wouldn't like it. Boise is much nicer.

bigkahuna's picture, stay far away from Boise - you will gravitate to one of the statist shitholes like New York City or Detroit where you can do no further damage nor harm any innocent people with your socialist bullshit.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

All ZHers are STILL welcome in Canada, esp. southwestern BC.

Budnacho's picture

Come to Chicago you fools, Dep-Dish Pizza, all the Zebra-Mussel-Infested water you could want, target practice on any side street and a real sense of living by your primal instincts...


Chicago!....America's City!

drendebe10's picture

Yah, & don't 4get all their progressive liberal democraps with all their stupid ideas & just plain assinine policies ....  look what they did for Detroit & Baltimore.  More of that on coming to a neighborhood near you...

knukles's picture

Hah!  TBA:  Federal Hole Filling Financing Bank

TeethVillage88s's picture

Someone probably already suggested.

We can start Fracking for Water as long as we have ZIRP.

Americans pay more for Water than milk, so at least $1 a gallon, $55 per 55 Gallon Drum.

Unless... Wait maybe there are no water sands. Maybe just drilling for mud.

ebworthen's picture

The fountain at the Bellagio will never be low! 

Even if they have to get it from the toilets!

Pool Shark's picture



"Even if they have to get it from the toilets!"


Why, where did you think they got it from?

The Darwin Mode's picture

While I doubt an epic socioeconomic collapse will happen in my lifetime, I do hope I get to see the absurdity that is Las Vegas crumble to the ground and vanish in the desert winds before I die. That alone would make this life experience worth all the hassles. I've got -- best case scenario -- till 2050 or 2060... what's your prediction for mid-21st century Vegas?

JohnG's picture



"While I doubt an epic socioeconomic collapse will happen in my lifetime..."

Either you are diagnosed terminal or one hell of an optimist.  This shitshow is already collapsing.

Freddie's picture

Did someone say there is a huge cistern or water supply under the lake that is for the elites that is much bigger than Lake Mead?   I am not joking.

IndyPat's picture

It's true. I was the one that posted that on an earlier Mead post.

Brought to the .001% by Bechtel and a pile of your tax dollars. Spoke to a man that was in the crew that applied the liner for it. Although, if an earthquake triggered this event, I'm thinking this particular elite subterranean wonderland is now slightly more "moist" than intended.

You smart folks have no idea what lies below you...and there's a reason for that.

None of us are invited.

chopd livr's picture

he might be in his 80s or 90s?

GeezerGeek's picture

I'd settle for seeing Harry Reid crumble and vanish. It'd be even better if he took the full Senate, House, SCOTUS and Executive Branch along with him, but that's a bit greedy of me, isn't it?

NYPoke's picture

Well, looks like somebody edited the spreadsheet.  Not only is it back up, the earthquake actually raised the water level.  Tecktonic shift, no doubt.