What Exactly Is Going On At Lake Mead?

Tyler Durden's picture

Following our exposure of the plunge in Lake Mead water levels post Friday's earthquake, officials were quick to point out that the drop was "due to erroneous meter readings" - which in itself is odd given we have not seen such an aberration before in the measurements. The data today shows a super surge in the Lake Mead water level - which, even more mysteriously, indicates from pre-earthquake to now, the Lake has risen by the most in a 3-day-period in years (as long as we have found history). How was this level 'manufactured' you ask? Simple - discharge flows from the Hoover Dam were curtailed dramatically. We are sure there is a simple explanation for all this...


Yesterday we noted the plunge in Lake Mead water levels...


Officials said - do not worry, the readings are faulty...

Which resulted in this miracle...


The biggest 3-day net surge in water levels (0.7 feet from Thursday to Sunday) on recent record...


How was this miracle achieved (given the general lack of precipitation)? Were discharge levels curtailed drastically?


Nope - nothing odd here at all...


So what exactly is going at Lake Mead?


Charts: Zero Hedge, LakeMead.water-data.com

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Skateboarder's picture

It was, without doubt, aliens (with the help of eyeSis, of course).

Bohm Squad's picture

No one has a camera out there?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

It would be interesting to compare the Lake Mead water levels with the upstream discharges from Lake Powell.

Automatic Choke's picture

It has been raining a lot in Vegas last few days.

Looney's picture

They should follow the Fukushima geniuses and freeze what’s left of Lake Mead. Frozen lakes have zero outflows. Just ask our Seasonal Adjustors. ;-)


Captain Debtcrash's picture
Captain Debtcrash (not verified) Looney May 25, 2015 2:34 PM

Ok let’s not get to worked up. The gist of this post is there is some kind of cover up for the drop, but it sounds more like a level sensor got broken during the quake. It’s so easy to determine if there as been a SEVEN FOOT drop. I’m sure we have some ZHers that live near there, go take a look at the lake and let us know if its dropped 7 feet in the past few days.

Don’t give conspiracy theorists a bad name :) Especially on something that is so easy to check.  Don't you think if they were BS'ing someone that lives on or near the lake would be callign thier BS. 

I understand there is the power generation aspect, but considering the water crisis why would they be discharging anything from the dam?

XenoFrog's picture

Taking pictures around a dam in the US. What could go wrong?

I hear Guantanamo Bay is lovely in the late Spring.

Divine Wind's picture




Odd, but don't these charts look similar to those depicting physical gold withdrawls from NY Fed vaults?

Just sayin...

tmosley's picture

Tyler: it was, in fact, raining in the area yesterday.  No too surprising that it takes a day to run into the lake.


Urban Roman's picture

Mebbe just doing a little fine-tuning on their high frequency water level algorithm.

Probably a fat-finger from Waddell and Reed, or a bad subroutine in a Sergey Aleynikov algo.

chumbawamba's picture

Okay, Zero Hedge, I've been here a long time, and I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next tinfoil hat wearing dweeb, but I need to finally put my foot down.  If there was really a dramatic plunge in Lake Mead there would be photos all over the fucking internet.  YOU CANNOT HIDE SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

For fuck's fucking sake, cut this shit out already.  You make the conspiracy derpers look sane.

I am Chumbawamba.

macholatte's picture


C'mon Tyler.

If you're going to start the click-baiting bullshit at least do it with stories that contain really good HD shots of naked women.

kaiserhoff's picture

Amen Bro.

Enough of this tabloid shit already.

nink's picture

After the water dropped they filled it up with gold to raise the levels. Got to keep those assets liquid.

NoDebt's picture

OK, I have a stupid question.  What outflows?  You mean through hydroelectric turbines?  I assume they aren't just DUMPING what precious little water is behind that thing.  So I assume that means less water THROUGH the turbines.  Yes?  No?

Anyway, just thinking out loud here.... if less water went through the turbines, I assume that means they produced less power.  Surely THAT would be a number somebody would have access to.

(As I type this I am fully aware somebody is going to jump in there to say "No, dum-dum, that's not how it works.")

CapnJackDaniel's picture

Lake Mead Conspiracy Theory #8: "The Mob topped it back it up, with water boosted from stolen NJ fire trucks. If the water level keeps dropping, someone'll stumble across Jimmy Hoffa at long last, along with God knows how many snitches, bitches & missing G-men."

Automatic Choke's picture

You morons....it was a TINY earthquake, and it was over 100 miles out of town.  I live in Vegas, and didn't feel a thing sitting at my desk (and I've been through many big and small ones and know what they feel like).  Almost nobody in town felt it.  A few traffic engineers closed down a couple of those flying overhead onramps for half a day so they could wander around and inspect them, and then they opened them back up.....and it would have been very surprising if anything had happened.  No way was this going to have any effect on the dam, on the underground water channels, or on any of the sensors.  Get real.



(edit:    here, look at the distance yourself -




nmewn's picture

Man, its so good that "official" readings-metrics-modeling are sooo accurate and divorced from any manipulation.

Thanks .gov! ;-)

Paveway IV's picture

You kids - do I have to do everything for you?? Let's consult the original Cylinder Gate Intake Tower Design from 1930. We can cleary see that each rib or 'story' (structural ring, actually) is 15' tall. 

This picture is from July 14, 2014 when the pool height was recorded around 1081 ft. - note the dark staining on the concrete and the distinctly ligher rib right near the top of the dark band. The water level is a little over two 'stories' below the lighter reference ring. I don't know the actual ring heights above MSL, but I can clearly see what 1081 ft. of water looks like against the intake towers. 

Now this picture was reported taken on March 20th (before all the excitement). Looks like the water level is now about three 'stories' below the lighter rib. That would make it around (probably somewhat less than) 15' below the picture from last year - maybe 1066 - 1068 ft. give or take. Hey - that's almost exactly the level the pool suddenly 'dropped' to after the earthquake! But nothing had happened up until the 20th and the Lake Mead water data page says the pool height was around 1077 ft. on that day. 

Then these nice folks went out to the dam and did a little sleuthing themselves. They didn't see any evidence of a thick wet ring on the concrete showing the water level had recently dropped, so they concluded it didn't. Take a look at the intake gate tower at this point in their video. The water looks about like 'three stories' down, or somewhere in the upper 1060's region. Dam officials assure us that the pool height is still around 1077 ft though.

So a bad gauge? Is the 2014 picture wrong? Optical illusion? Aquatic easing? Chemtrails? 

But wait! Let's consider another EQUAL possibility: the damn gauge was sticking or malfunctioning BEFORE the earthquake and wasn't recording the actual water level for some time - it was recording too high a level. No, I have no direct proof, but I can look at the 1081 ft. picture from last year if that's accurate and the supposed 1077 ft. claimed level pictures from this year and conclude that the water is not simply 4' lower from one picture to the next.

By some sort of magic and/or clownfuckery, did the gauge suddenly become 'fixed' to show the previous wrong 1077 ft. levels? Hmmm... No. No - the government wouldn't lie to us.

A gigantic dam affecting millions of lives and one God damn publicly-accessable pool level gauge and chart that may or may not work??  Who in the FUCK operates such critical, expensive infrastructure yet insists on being so cheap-assed that they can only afford ONE gague -TEPCO?? Hoover Dam can't afford a back-up gauge and an internet connection? They're spending a bajillion dollars on a sump all the way down to the dead pool so they can COMPLETELY drain Lake Mead if necessary, and they're building a lift pump and new tunnel to Las Vegas that will have the ability to suck MORE water out of Lake Mead than the existing two pipes. Except if the water gets that low, they won't be generating any electricity to run the new sump pump. All that, and we're still relying on Twitter and YouTube to tell what the fuck is going on in Lake Mead!

Dear DHS Stazi: Stop watching porn, enriching Irsraeli counter-terrorism contractor cornies and giving cops MRAPS to 'protect' me. Go out and buy a God damn webcam and a level guage for Hoover Dam, you useless, treasonous fucks! I'm not worried about terrorists attacking Hoover Dam, I'm worried about the mental midgets and terrorists running it today.

thatthingcanfly's picture

I thought Starscream blew up one of those towers just before they broke Megatron out of cryo-prison.

Paveway IV's picture

Damn! Wrong link for the video of Lake Mead in my post above. The one taken Sunday, the 14th can be found here and shows the 'three story' below the light rib 1066-1068 ft. levels. No evidence that they just dropped to that level, but rather that it was already there for days. 

CzechNorris's picture

Agreed.  No way can we let that lake get so low - too many .1 percenters have nice boats out there.

bania's picture

The real life Plunge Protection Team at work!

rccalhoun's picture

economists were put in charge of the statistics

Arnold's picture

Funny, our water table in drought level 1 (western PA) suddenly rose 7.5 feet.


balanced's picture

This is what happens when local and federal governments become compulsive liars. All credibility has been lost.

Well really... they have always been liars - this is what happens when the people start pulling their heads out of the sand.

Jaspergers's picture

"they" used haarp or fracking or smth, caused a quake, and a DUMB flooded lol

ThirteenthFloor's picture

Water was sold to Walmart for bottles. The needed alternative source since they were caught buying from the Sacramento CA water district too cheap.

Actually elites probably taking water to put the last American industry out of business - farming.

grunk's picture

 You have to admit that, on a somewhat rightish fringey, albeit popular, financial website, it's kinda cool we're talking about water level data.

And then arguing about it.

knukles's picture

Bread and Circuses, plebe.
Keep Commenting

Jaspergers's picture

@Divine Wind - Are you referencing the belangp vid that made that analogy? anyway, that guy kicks ass. 

PT's picture

Water disappearing out of a lake?  Didn't that happen in a James Bond movie?

My geography is terrible.  Is Lake Mead anywhere near Silicon Valley?

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

How can a line on a wall get broken? Thats the sensor, you have lines and some one writes that number down and enters it in the computer.
Mybe someone thinks the leak will plug its self.

Billy the Poet's picture

I check levels for my swimming spot on the Allegheny online. It's all automated with hourly updates. If our little local dam can do that I imagine the folks at Lake Meade can as well.

Urban Roman's picture

All over Texas, when you are driving on country roads, you'll see automated reporting stations at low-water crossings and bridges. They'll have a shortwave radio antenna aimed back at some central monitoring hub. You can see some of their output here:


It is raining in Texas just now, and the Highland Lakes are filling back up from the drought several years ago. Hopefully the drought pattern in the Rockies will go the same way..

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

Visit a any body of water, all will be marked with a line on a wall, post or other. All show the water level. Its all in plain view. What ever other little gismos they have in the offices on the water its a line on the wall showing depth.

Billy the Poet's picture

The question is whether the seven foot drop showed on the gizmos, the line on the wall or both.

Urban Roman's picture

My wildass guess is that the line on the wall did not move, and neither did the water level, not by much.

An 8 foot drop is a lot of water to be leaving the lake in just a couple of days. It has lost 150 feet, or something, but that was over an interval of years. And if it didn't leave through the sluice gates but through some (???) other route, I'm pretty sure someone would have noticed, and we'd have phone videos of it on hugetooob.

It was very likely a malfunctioning sensor. The page I linked above frequently shows a 0 flow rate for one or two sites, while nearby sites show various non-zero flows. When that happens, someone has to drive out to the site and replace batteries or something.

knukles's picture

Which all highlights the useless nature of the Modern Technological Extravaganza been bought with Taxpayer Money when a fucking stick works Better than the Electronic Crap.
And don't use energy to run all day and night.

Captain Debtcrash's picture
Captain Debtcrash (not verified) bbq on whitehouse lawn May 25, 2015 3:43 PM

I have no problem with people being skepitcal, but where's the motive to cover this up? Not to mention it is so easy to verify by tens of thousands of people I would not be able to be covered up for very long.  Don't you think local news would check wiht billy bob at the marina (if there are any left but you get the point) as a followup. 

Maybe they checked the line on the wall after the sensor showed a 7' drop, and hense the correction. 

I have no problem with the conversation but ZH gets a little worked up, anyone remember Ebola on here.  My gosh what a $hit show.  There are conspiracies, I just have my doubts that this is one of them. 



kaiserhoff's picture

Apparently, no one here has ever had an old car, or tractor with a gimpy fuel gauge.

What are the odds?

Socratic Dog's picture

Obviously all you denial types saying this is more likely a sensor malfunction are NSA trolls.

Why doesn't the author drive out there and take a look?  He's getting paid for writing about it.  And if he turned out to be right, well, the bloke who broke the story on the Great Water Heist will be able to write his own ticket.  If he survives, I s'pose.

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

If the water level holds its not a problem if it doesnt, then its a perdicament.